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Two Backward Caste Minors Beaten Up, Paraded Naked for Bathing in Farmer’s Well in Maharashtra

The boys were paraded naked in the village while one of the accused used his mobile phone to film the incident and circulate it on social media.

PTI

Updated:June 15, 2018, 7:13 AM IST
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Two Backward Caste Minors Beaten Up, Paraded Naked for Bathing in Farmer’s Well in Maharashtra
Image for representation.
Mumbai: Two minor boys from a backward community were allegedly beaten up and paraded naked in a village in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district for swimming in a well that belonged to a person of a different caste, police said on Thursday.

The teenagers were paraded by two men, one of whom owned the well.

Police have arrested the accused, identified as Ishwar Joshi and Prahlad Lohar, in connection with the incident.

The matter came to light when a video of the alleged assault and stripping of the boys went viral on social media on June 10.

The video purportedly shows the two boys — aged 15 and 16 — being beaten up with a belt and paraded naked in Pahur village in Jamner taluka by the accused duo, a local police official said.

The boys had gone for a swim in the well belonging to Joshi, a farmer, in Wakadi village around 3pm on June 10.

“While returning home after swimming, both the teenagers were caught by Joshi and his farm worker Prahlad Lohar,” he said.

Joshi and Lohar allegedly started abusing the duo, stripped them and started beating them with a belt, the official said.

According to the official, the cries of the boys to spare them fell on deaf ears.

He said the boys were paraded naked in the village while one of the accused used his mobile phone to film the incident and circulate it on social media.

The parents of the boys came to know about the incident after the video went viral, following which they approached the Pahur police.

On the complaint of the father of one of the victims, Joshi and Lohar were booked under sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC, said the officer.

Sub-divisional police officer Keshav Pathond said Joshi and Lohar were also booked under the Atrocity Act, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and section 67 (B) of the Information and Technology Act.

They were arrested on the night of June 10 and produced before local court on June 11, which sent them to judicial remand.

The Congress has alleged that “atrocities against Dalits” are on the rise under the Narendra Modi government.

Former chief minister and state unit Congress president Ashok Chavan claimed that such incidents are happening with an increasing frequency after the BJP came to power in Maharashtra.

“This reflects the anti-Dalit mentality of the BJP,” he said.

Maharashtra Congress incharge Mohan Prakash said a party delegation will visit the village.

“It has become a flagship programme of the Modi government ever since it was formed to unleash atrocities on Dalits.

“There are large-scale atrocities on Dalits and tribals in the BJP-ruled states such as Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra,” he said.

“On one hand the chief minister talks about negotiating with Dalits, but on the other, cases are being slapped against them and they are being arrested. Now Modi and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should tell if this is the act of Maoists or Manuvadis,” Prakash said.

Nationalist Congress Party Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil alleged that Dalits and minorities were not safe under the BJP government.

“Such incidents, which are a blot on humanity, are happening frequently since the BJP assumed power,” he said.

Maharashtra revenue minister Chandrakant Patil said two persons have been arrested in connection with the Jalgaon incident.

“I spoke to the collector and the superintendent of police,” he said.

Irrigation minister Girish Mahajan said the two people have been booked under the provisions of the Atrocities Act and POCSO.

Mahajan and minister of state for social justice Dilip Kamble said the boys used to bathe in the well whose water was meant for drinking.

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