Police said the incident, which happened recently, took place when Santhanam, an agricultural labourer from Enathikottai village in Ramanathapuram district, had gone to attend a family function at Thirubuvanam.
After leaving the function around 10 pm, Santhanam decided to go to his sister’s house in Brammanur, around 5 km from Thirubuvanam, as there were no buses to his native place at that time.
Having started walking to Brammanur, four youngsters travelling in two bikes soon passed by him.
Santhanam, who wanted to hitch a ride, requested the youth for a lift which they accepted.
However, after travelling for some distance they started questioning Santhanam about his native place and caste.
When Santhanam said he was a Dalit, the youngsters stopped the bike and started abusing him. They then demanded as to why he did not reveal his caste name before getting on their bike.
The four youngsters then allegedly attacked Santhanam with iron rods that they carried, before throwing the man into a ditch. Santhanam was rescued the next day morning by locals.
The injured man was later admitted at the Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital. Thirubuvanam police have registered a case against the culprits and are investigating the incident.