Indian hockey star Vandana Katariya and her family subjected to casteist slurs; one man arrested

Notably, the 29-year-old forward recently became the first-ever female hockey player to score an Olympic hattrick during India's crucial 4-3 win over South Africa.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 5 August 2021 9:45 pm

While the Indian athletes continue to make the country proud in Tokyo with their exceptional performances, the citizens of the nation are still busy fighting among themselves. Sports has the power to unite everyone but sometimes it is impossible to create a positive impact on people whose thinking has never evolved over the years. Although there is a common belief that we are progressing as a society, the recent incident in Haridwar proves that we are still miles away from where we want to be.

Following Indian women side's 1-2 defeat at the hands of Argentina in the semi-finals at Tokyo Olympics, two men were reportedly seen dancing and bursting firecrackers in the Roshnabad area in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. The duo were allegedly doing the same as an act of mockery in front of the house of hockey player Vandana Katariya in a shameful sequence of events.

What actually happened in Haridwar?

As per reports, the two men also passed casteist remarks on Vandana and her family as they blamed the presence of Dalit players as the reason behind India's loss in Tokyo. Some of Vandana's family members stepped out of the house on hearing the loud noises, which eventually resulted in a heated argument between them and the two men.

Following the complaint filed by Vandana's brother, the police officials arrested one of the men involved. The man, identified as Vijay Pal, has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident under section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code and the SC-ST Act, as per a PTI report. The other man involved in the incident has notably not been arrested yet.

Vandana has been India's most impressive player in Tokyo

Although such kind of comments against any player are unacceptable, it is even more surprising that Vandana, who has been one of the most impressive players for India in Tokyo, and her family has to go through all of this. Notably, the 29-year-old forward recently became the first-ever female hockey player to score an Olympic hattrick during India's crucial 4-3 win over South Africa. India's star would once again want to respond to everyone with her actions on the field as they face Great Britain in bronze medal match on Friday.

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