Village sarpanch, husband arrested for casteist slur

A woman village sarpanch and her husband in Sanand's Chekhla village have been arrested for passing casteist slur, police said on Monday. Bhagwati and her husband, Krishnakant Patel, were arrested two days back after fifty-two-year-old Champaben Senwa, a dalit woman, recorded the proceedings of a meeting on her cellphone.

Senwa, a Class IV passout, is the chairperson of Panchayat Social Justice Committee, a body of Gram Panchayat set up to ensure the participation of the marginalised people in the panchayat's decision-making. On March 19, she raised the issue of building a road to the crematorium of her society at a panchayat meeting. But the sarpanch refused, saying the road will not be built for dalits.

Senwa submitted a written complaint against the woman sarpanch to Sanand police. However, they dumped the complaint. Then, she approached district SP Gagandeep Gambhir in April.

Nirlipt Rai, a sub-divisional police officer at Sarkhej division, said the police lodged an FIR after Senwa produced the evidence in the case.

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