One of the men who hurled casteist slurs at hockey player Vandana Kataria practised with her

By Express News Service

DEHRADUN: A case has been registered against two men who hurled casteist slurs on hockey star striker Vandana Kataria’s family in her native village of Roshanabad in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand. 

The accused — Sumit Chauhan and Vijay Pal — are from the same village. Haridwar police have registered cases against them under section 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and Section 3 in The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. 

Interestingly, one of the accused is a hockey player himself and used to practise with Kataria about seven years ago, said family members of the Olympian. 

“He used to practise with my sister and has played hockey for Uttarakhand. This act proves that either he is insane or a traitor. Otherwise, who in his/her right mind is going to celebrate the loss of India even if it is in the sports,” said Pankaj Kataria, brother of the former captain of the Indian women’s hockey team. 

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Vandana’s kin said after the news of the Indian women’s hockey team losing to Argentina was flashed on television, a group of people started bursting crackers, dancing in front of their home and abusing the family. 

“Just after 10 seconds the match wound up, we heard noises of cracker bursting. We were so in grief that we could not understand what happened. A few minutes later we git to know that some people are dancing in front of our house. They hurled casteist slurs and celebrated the losing of India as if it were something great for them,” said Chandrashekhar Kataria, brother of the Olympian.

Earlier on Wednesday, Savita Kataria sister-in-law of Vandana Kataria said that she will die by suicide if action was not taken against the culprits following which the case was registered. However, the police officials also added that the family of Kataria and two men have been involved in the tussle. 

“The families have some issues between them. Initial investigation revealed that this was an act out of jealousy. We are investigating the case,” said an official from the police department involved in the investigation.