With more arrests on Wednesday, five persons have been rounded up so far on charges of beating up four Dalit youths who skinned a dead cow in Gir-Somnath district of Gujarat.
The five include Pramodgiri Goswami, the self-styled president of Shiv Sena. Police said they were looking for one more person.
Goswami and the others from a cow protection group brutally assaulted four Dalit youths in Mota Samadhiyala village on Monday.
The victims, members of a Dalit family involved in leather trading, were skinning the carcass of a cow brought from a neighbouring village.
Not caring to find out any details, the hefty attackers started beating up the frail boys with iron pipes they had carried.
They kept shouting “Why are you killing cows?” and refused to believe their version that the animal had died a natural death and they brought the carcass to the village for skinning at the behest of the animal’s owner.
According to the video of the incident which went viral on the social media on Tuesday, the attackers stripped the youths to their waist and tied them on the back of their sports utility vehicle (SUV) car and dragged them to Una town about a kilometre away, where again they beat them up black and blue.
All of them were finally dumped in front of the Una police station. Although a large crowd had gathered, none came forward to the aid of the Dalit youths.
Only when some Dalit members, including many women, from the town rushed to the police station and demanded action against the assailants that the police registered an FIR against them.
The Dalit youths were rushed to a hospital where the conditions of two of them was said to be critical.
The police have booked the six attackers under sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 395 (loot) of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.