Man arrested for casteist remarks against Vandana Katariya's family

Vandana Katariya is the first Indian woman to score a hockey hat trick at the Olympics. AP Photo/John Locher

One man has been arrested in Uttarakhand's Haridwar district on charges of mocking and passing casteist remarks against the family of hockey player Vandana Katariya. The incident is alleged to have taken place on Wednesday, after the India women's hockey team - of which Katariya is a member - lost their semi-final match at the Tokyo Olympics.

Soon after the match, two men allegedly danced and burst firecrackers outside Katariya's house in the Roshnabad area of Haridwar, local police said. When members of Katariya's family came out on hearing the noise, the two men also passed casteist remarks against them, saying the hockey team had lost because it had too many Dalit players in it, the police said.

One of those two men, identified as Vijay Pal, has been arrested and booked 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, the police said. The other man is absconding.

Katariya was asked about the incident in Tokyo on Friday, after India's bronze-medal play-off. "I won't like to comment on this matter. I have heard a little bit about it. I have spoken to my family and they said all is well with them. The police is investigating this," Katariya said.