Cops Torture Untouchables, Parade Them Naked

Cops Torture Untouchables, Parade Them Naked

A group of policemen in Sehore district in Bhopal, India, detained, thrashed and paraded naked two dalit youths. The reason for that was the desire to trace one of their relative, who absconded from parole 20 years ago.

Dalits are a mixed population, consisting of numerous social groups from all over India, they speak a variety of languages and practice a multitude of religions

There are many different names proposed for defining this group of people, including Panchamas ("fifth varna"), and Asprushya ("untouchables")

The victims, Mahesh Kumar and Arjun approached Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (HRC) on Thursday. This was their second complaint with the HRC.

Both were allegedly threatened by the policemen, who were annoyed over HRC's cognizance, on their first complaint after the said assault.

The incident took place at Siddhiqueganj village, where the two were detained by police on July 23. In a complaint lodged with HRC, they alleged that police took them to an isolated place, forced them to undress and lie down on ground.

"They thrashed us with cane and wooden logs asking the whereabouts of one Suresh. They kept us under detention for two more days and continued torturing us asking for the same man who we had not met or seen in the last 20-25 years," the victims said.

Then both were released on July 25, after wife of one of the victims approached superintendent of police (SP) Raman Singh Sikarwar and apprised him of the matter. On the same day, they lodged a complaint with HRC narrating their plight.

Annoyed over the HRC complaint, one of the cops allegedly called up the victim's relative and insisted that the complaint be withdrawn.

In their complaint, the victims alleged that they were tortured by Narendra Singh Parihar and a constable Vikash Katihar posted at Siddhiqueganj police station.

District superintendent of police Raman Singh Sikarwar said, "If any such complaint has been made, we will get the matter investigated."

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