Yogesh Gadhvi, a folk musician was arrested on May 14 for reportedly hurling casteist slurs during a public performance at Bhuj in Gujarat.
According to a report published by the Indian Express, Gadhvi, also known as Yogesh Boxa, was playing at a gathering to inaugurate the Bhimratna Samras Kanya Vidyalaya, a hostel for girl students in Radhakrishna Nagar, Bhuj.
The hostel was built by Gujarat Samras Chhatralay Society, a district-level organisation created in 2016 under the state government’s Social Justice and Empowerment Department with the goal of providing facilities to students from all marginalised castes (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backwards Classes and Economically Backwards Classes).
A first information report (FIR) was filed against the folk singer based on a complaint by local Dalit rights activist Vishal Garva. The FIR was filed under sections of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act).
As per the complaint, Boxa took to the stage at about 04:00 pm and used “some casteist slurs” against the Dalit community during his performance. Dalit leaders present at the event quickly walked to the stage and chastised Boxa for using the slurs, particularly “since he has come at the inauguration of a hostel for our community daughters.”
Gujarat assembly speaker Nimaben Acharya, state general secretary and MP Vinod Chavda, and other MLAs were among those in attendance, according to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president CR Paatil.