A court in Rajasthan on Tuesday sentenced social activist Nikhil Dey and four others to four-month imprisonment after convicting them of “trespass” and “causing hurt”. The court of Kishangarh Additional District Judge suspended Dey, Nauroti Bai, Ram Karan, Babulal and Chotu Lal’s sentence pending an appeal.
The five have alleged that Harmara sarpanch Pyarelal Tank and his family had assaulted and abused them when they had gone to meet him to get some information on May 6, 1998. The sarpanch’s family has insisted that the activists allegedly assaulted them.
“We were punched and kicked around by Pyarelal and his family. His brother, Om Prakash, had filed the FIR (first information report) and claimed that Pyarelal was not there even though he was very much there,” Dey, who has championed the Right to Information among other causes along with Aruna Roy, told The Indian Express. “We have never lifted a finger and if this can happen to us then it also speaks about other cases. The process itself is a punishment.”
Nauroti filed an FIR against the sarpanch and his family for allegedly assaulting them two days after the incident. Pyarelal followed suit.Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), which is associated with the activists, alleged that the sarpanch produced one false witness after another since 2001. “MKSS is shocked and dismayed to receive the judgment.”