NEW DELHI: Public outrage soared high on the social media when the family of Indian Women's Hockey Team star player who scored a hat trick in her last match against South Africa last month were abused with castiest slurs by two men allegedly belonging to 'upper cast' in Haridwar.
According to reports, the police have arrested one of the two upper-caste men, but are yet to file an FIR.
The shameful incident happened just hours after the Indian women's hockey team lost to Argentina at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday. According to Vandana's family members, the two upper-caste men abused them with casteist slurs and also abused the hockey player Vandana Katariya during the process.
Haridwar police official LS Butola said, "We have detained one of them but are yet to file an FIR pertaining to the case.
Vandana's family further told the media that, according to the two accused upper cast men, India was defeated in the match because there were "too many Dalits players" on the team.
"Soon after the match, we heard noise of firecrackers being busted outside our house in Roshanabad village. 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," Vandana Katariya's brother Shekhar added.
Shekhar further alleged that the men insulted his family saying, "They went on saying that it's not just hockey but every sport that should keep Dalits out."
Meanwhile, the tragic incident triggered outrage on social media, with people pointing out that just days ago, the 29-year-old had become the first Indian woman to score a hat-trick at the Olympics. She led India to a 4-3 victory against South Africa last month.
Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav tweeted, "A national hero insulted, since she's Dalit," "A dalit girl raped, killed. And we pretend caste doesn't exist! It's this morning news, about Vandana Kataria, who scored that magic hattrick in Qfinal [quarterfinal]."
On a similar note, the All India Mahila Congress described the incident as "simply shameful". Ruchira Chaturvedi, Congress' national convenor for social media tweeted, "This is so sickening," "We, as a nation, owe Vandana Katariya and her family, an apology. Why has an FIR not already been registered?!"