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Father of 11-yr-old 'bludgeoned to death' by Navratri organisers over garba prize tussle in Gujarat

Porbandar: A 40-year-old man was bludgeoned to death allegedly by the organisers of a ‘garba’ function in Gujarat after he had a spat with them following his 11-year-old daughter’s complaint that she was given one prize despite winning two events, the police said on Wednesday.

Victim Sarman Odedara was attacked with sticks and other blunt objects allegedly by seven men around 2 am on Tuesday near Krishna Park Society in Porbandar, said Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rutu Raba.

“All the seven accused involved in the murder of Odedara were arrested by the police,” said Raba, adding that further investigation is on.

The accused included Raja Kuchhadia, Raju Keshwala, Ramde Bokhiria, Pratik Gorania and three of their accomplices.

As per the first information report (FIR), these accused had organised an event related to garba, a traditional dance, on the occasion of Navratri near a school adjacent to Krishna Park, where the Odedara family lives.

In her complaint to Udhyognagar police in Porbandar, Odedara’s wife Maliben said she went to confront the organisers on Monday night when their 11-year-old daughter came home after playing garba and complained that though she had won two different events, she was given only one prize by the organisers.

When Maliben went to the organisers with her daughter’s complaint, Keshwala apparently rudely told her to accept the decision. Take the prize or leave it, she was told, says the FIR.

Soon, Kuchhadia and Bokhiria also arrived at the spot and allegedly started arguing with Maliben. They even threatened to kill her if she did not leave the spot.

As per the FIR, the wives of Kuchhadia and Keshwala also verbally abused Maliben and asked her to leave the place. Maliben and her daughter then went back home around 1 am.

After an hour, when Maliben and her husband were sitting outside their house, the four main accused and three of their accomplices came there on motorcycles and started beating Odedara using sticks and wooden planks, according to the FIR.

Maliben also received injuries when she tried to save her husband. The accused then took Odedara to the garba venue on their bikes and thrashed him till the arrival of the police, who were alerted by the victim’s minor daughter.

Odedara was rushed to a hospital by the police in their vehicle, but he could not be saved, the FIR said.

(Published 25 October 2023, 10:01 IST)

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