A Dalit man was allegedly pushed into a Holi bonfire by an upper caste couple at Futera village in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district on March 1, the police said on Sunday.
According to the police, the couple got angry fearing the bonfire lit by the victim and others would engulf their house.
The victim, identified as Balram Ahirwar, survived with 15% burn injuries, an official said, adding that the police arrested one Raje Rajput (38) in the incident on Thursday night while efforts are on to trace his wife.
The incident occurred during the Holika ‘dahan’ (burning) ceremony in the village, said Rahatgarh police station inspector Anil Singh.
He said Mr. Rajput and his wife got angry after Mr. Ahirwar and others lit the bonfire, which they feared would engulf their house. In a fit of rage, they caught hold of Mr. Ahirwar and pushed him into the bonfire, Mr. Singh said.
Mr. Ahirwar was rescued by others and taken to a hospital.
When contacted, district SP S. Shukla said that Mr. Ahirwar also accused the Rajput couple of passing casteist remarks during an argument with him.
Mr. Singh said the accused have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.