Fear had already pushed Uttar Pradesh youth towards home

October 29th, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Oct 29 (IANS) After only three months in Maharashtra, Dharamdev Ramnarain Rai had decided to come back home to his village in Uttar Pradesh following the increasing attacks against north Indians. Had he taken the decision a little earlier he might still be alive.The 25-year-old from Goriya Ghat village in east Uttar Pradesh’s Sant Kabir Nagar district was lynched on a suburban train to Mumbai on Diwali night. The humanities graduate who found work in a steel manufacturing unit in Khopoli, 120 km from Mumbai, had been married for three years and had a 15-month-old daughter. His wife is expecting their second child.

Only regrets remain.

His grieving father Ram Narain Rai, a teacher in a local school in Goriya Ghat, said: “Dharamdev had made up his mind to return home in view of the escalating attacks against north Indians in Maharastra.”

Detailing the events of the night, Rai told IANS over the phone: “My son had boarded a suburban train along with two of his other friends from Sant Kabir Nagar to go to Kalyan from where they had proposed to take the Kushinagar express to return home.”

“But just as the train reached Badlapur station (in neighbouring Thane), a band of some 15-20 MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) goons stormed into the compartment. Raising pro-MNS slogans, they instantly asked for UP ‘bhaiyas’ whom they could identify easily as the non-Marathi speaking passengers on board.

“My son and his friends Virendra and Satya Prakash kept on pleading for mercy and sought to explain to the MNS activists that they had already made up their mind to leave the state; But the violent group was not prepared to listen to anything and went about thrashing the three helpless boys until they fell unconscious.”

He added that Dharamdev was hit on the head with an iron rod and could not recover. He was declared brought dead when police turned up about 30 minutes later and took him to the nearest hospital.

According to police in Mumbai, he was with three of his friends when a brawl erupted over window seats. A group of about 10 commuters asked them whether they were ‘bhaiyas’ (the term used to refer to people from Uttar Pradesh). The attack began when the youth replied in the affirmative.

The attack on Dharamdev and his friends comes a day after a Bihar youth was shot dead by Mumbai police after he allegedly attempted to hijack a state-run bus.

Before that, non Maharashtrians appearing for the railway recruitment board exam in Mumbai came under attack from MNS members, leading to the arrest of MNS chief Raj Thackeray and widespread violence.

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