For swim­ming in well, 2 Dal­its pa­raded naked

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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