Eight men from the Jat community allegedly abducted a 25-year-old Dalit man, assaulted him and forced him to drink their urine in Rajasthan’s Churu district earlier this week, police said Saturday.
Police have booked the attackers under multiple sections of the IPC as well as the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. None of them has been arrested yet.
Police are looking for the accused, and their families were unavailable for comment.
According to the authorities, Rakesh Meghwal, a resident of Rukhasar village in Churu district, was attacked on the night of January 26.
In the FIR registered the next day, Meghwal has alleged that the assault stemmed from a dispute in Holi last year and that the accused people insulted him with casteist slurs.
He said he was abducted from his home by one Umesh Jat, a resident of the same village, and seven others. Meghwal said they forced him into a car and drove off to a nearby field.
“Rakesh and Rajesh took out a bottle of alcohol and forcibly made me drink it and after the bottle became empty, Rakesh, Rajesh, Umesh, Tarachand, Akshay, Dinesh, Bidadichand and Birbal urinated in that bottle and made me drink it,” read the FIR, registered on the basis of a complaint by Meghwal at Churu’s Ratangarh police station.
The FIR said the accused allegedly abused Meghwal using casteist slurs and a derogatory term for Dalits, saying they (Dalits) “would be taught a lesson” for having the “audacity” of getting into a confrontation with the Jat community.
“All of them beat me with sticks and ropes for around half-an-hour, which has resulted in injury marks on my entire body,” stated the FIR.
Meghwal has said that the accused later took his mobile phone and dumped him in the village, believing he was dead.
The police have named Umesh, Rajesh, Tarachand, Rakesh, Birbal, Akshay, Dinesh and Bidadi Chand as accused in the FIR, which has been registered under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 365 (abduction), 382 (theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint). Relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 have also been invoked.
The police said Meghwal’s allegations of assault appear to be true.
“We are trying to arrest the accused. Prima facie the allegations of Meghwal being assaulted have been found to be true. All the accused are around the same age as Meghwal and it appears that there was a dispute between them. The complainant has said that around a year back, he had dropped a musical instrument and the accused side had made certain remarks, which resulted in enmity. We are investigating this point. Meghwal is able to walk and most of his injuries are on his back, which appears to be made by ropes,” said Himanshu Sharma, Ratangarh circle officer and case investigating officer.
Sharma said Meghwal’s allegation of being forced to drink urine was added to the FIR, but the police have not found evidence for it yet.
“We are investigating all points. All the accused are from the Jat community. We are hoping to make the arrests soon,” said Sharma.
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