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Olympic Star Vandana Katariya’s Family Faces Casteist Slurs, Abuses After Defeat In Semis

The men not only burst crackers and danced in mock celebrations, but also hurled caste abuses at her family, the family told the Times of India. 

Hours after Indian women’s hockey team was defeated by the Argentinian team on Wednesday in a semifinal contest at Tokyo Olympic, two upper caste men began circling Vandana Katariya’s home at Roshnabad village in Haridwar, the Time of India reported on Thursday. The men not only burst crackers and danced in mock celebrations, but also hurled caste abuses at her family, saying that the team had lost because it had “too many Dalit players,” Vandana’s family told TOI. The police has detained one of the accused, according to the report. “We were upset after the loss. But the team went down fighting. We were proud of that,” Vandana’s brother Shekhar told TOI. “Suddenly, right after the match, we heard loud noises. Crackers were being burst outside our house. When we went outside, we saw two men from our village — we know them and they are upper castes — dancing in front of our house.”

When the men saw Vandana’s family step out from their house, they started hurling a stream of casteist abuses at them.

“They used caste slurs, insulted our family and said the Indian team lost because too many Dalits have made it to the team. They went on, saying that it’s not just hockey but every sport that should keep Dalits out,” the complaint filed by Shekhar said. “Then, they took some of their clothes off and started dancing again … It was a caste-based attack.”

Though an FIR is yet to be registered as per the TOI report, SHO of Sidcul police station LS Butola told TOI: “One man whose name came up has been detained.”

However, the SHO did not clarify who the detained person was. “We have received a complaint and inquiry is on, after which a case will be filed.”

 

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