For swimming in well, 2 Dalits paraded naked
Mumbai: Two 14-year-old Dalit boys were stripped, thrashed and paraded naked by a farmer and his aide in a Jalgaon village for swimming in a farmland well. The farmer and his worker were arrested on Thursday after a video of the incident shot by them went viral.
The video shows the boys, belonging to the Matang community, being beaten with a belt and paraded naked through the village with no one coming to their aid.
Locals said the incident occurred on Sunday when the boys had gone for a swim in a well at Ishwar Joshi’s farm. Spotting them, Joshi and his worker Pralhad Lohar got angry as the water from the well was used for drinking and in farms, and thrashed them.
The mother of one of the boys registered a complaint with police against Joshi and Lohar. “Lohar works in Joshi’s farm. They had earlier warned the boys against swimming in the well. Joshi belongs to a community that is classified among the nomadic tribe,” Jalgaon SP Dattatreya Karale said.
Police have booked Joshi and Lohar under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Information Technology Act. On Thursday, the two men were produced in a local court, which sent them to judicial custody. Police said Joshi and Lohar were also booked under the IT Act for making a video of the incident.
State Congress president Ashok Chavan said, “Under BJP rule, there is a sudden spurt in atrocities against Dalits.”