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In MP, Dalit RTI activist beaten, forced to drink urine: wife in FIR

Attacked after he asked questions on panchayat under RTI, says complaint.

By: Express News Service | Gwalior |
February 28, 2022 1:41:20 pm
Shashikant Jatav was allegedly beaten up and forced to drink urine in Gwalior’s Panihar village.

A Right to Information (RTI) activist, who belongs to the Dalit community, was allegedly beaten up and forced to drink urine by several people at Panihar village, in Madhya Pradsh’s Gwalior district, after he purportedly sought information under RTI about a village panchayat, police said on Monday.

The victim, Shashikant Jatav, 33, was locked up in a room and beaten up by seven people on the evening of February 23, according to the complaint registered at Panihar police station by his wife, Renu Jatav.

According to Town Inspector, Panihar police station, Praveen Sharma, two of the seven accused named in the FIR have been arrested.

In her complaint, Renu stated that her husband was forced to drink urine filled in shoes, allegedly after he sought information related to Bahri village panchayat, which, she complained, made some people in the panchayat angry and triggered the attack. Shashikant sustained multiple fractures due to the assault and was initially taken to the district hospital, but due to blood clotting in his legs he was subsequently moved to AIIMS in Delhi, where he is undergoing treatment, the family has said.

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In her complaint, Renu has accused village sarpanch Asha Kaurav, and others identified as Sanjay Kaurav, Dhamu, Bhura, Gautam, Vivek Sharma and Sarnam Singh for allegedly assaulting her husband.

Acting on the complaint, police have booked the seven accused under IC Sections 354 A (assault or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).

After the FIR was registered, several members of BSP held a protest outside Panihar police station, demanding IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder) be invoked. The accused were subsequently booked under that provision as well, police said.

“We have registered a complaint based on allegations made by the victim’s wife. We are trying to ascertain if it (attack) was indeed triggered by the RTI application, or if there are other reasons,” Sharma said.

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