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Rajasthan Dalit labourer ‘chained, assaulted’ for 31 hours; FIR against 6

According to the FIR, Radheshyam Meghwal was assaulted after he dishonoured a pledge to work as an unskilled labourer for Paramjit Singh. The police said teams have been formed to search for the six accused in the case.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur |
Updated: May 29, 2022 12:37:33 am
Meghwal found chained in a village in Bundi district. Express

A 35-year-old Dalit man was allegedly starved and kept chained in a cattle shed and assaulted for over 31 hours in Rajasthan’s Bundi district last week after he failed to honour a pledge, the police said.

According to the FIR registered in the case, Radheshyam Meghwal, a resident of Biluba village in Bundi district, was assaulted after he dishonoured a pledge to work as an unskilled labourer for Paramjit Singh, the main accused.

“The six accused in the case are currently absconding and we have constituted teams to search for them. Preliminary investigation has established that Meghwal was kept in chains at a cattle shed,” said deputy superintendent of police Shankar Lal Meena, the investigating officer in the case.

The FIR, which was registered based on Meghwal’s complaint, said: “Since the applicant does not have any land or property, he has no choice but to work as a bonded labourer… ‘Three years back, I had started working for Paramjit Sardar, a resident of Alfa Nagar as a hali (unofficial annual work contract as a labourer). Paramjit kept me as a hali from May 2019 to April 2020 for 12 months. I needed money for the wedding of my sister. I had taken Rs 70,000 for 12 months wages and Rs 30,000 as a loan from Paramjit’.”

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It said Meghwal worked for 24 hours a day at Singh’s field and oversaw animal husbandry work for six months, following which he had to leave the job after falling ill due to continuous work. The FIR added that thereafter, Paramjit started demanding Rs 1,10,000 from Meghwal and the latter paid him Rs 25,000 after working as a labourer in another place.

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Meghwal said Paramjit started to add 3 per cent interest to the amount and in 2021, Paramjit forcibly took him away and made him harvest wheat for 10 days without paying any remuneration. “On May 22, Paramjit, his younger brother and their four friends abused me with casteist slurs, and abducted me to Paramjit’s house. They kept me chained at a cattle shed and tortured me with iron pipes. They kept me hungry for 31 hours, chained at the cattle shed,” says the FIR.

The FIR has been registered under sections 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 343 (wrongful confinement for three or more days), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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