Six people have been arrested for allegedly flogging an 18-year-old youth after tying him to a tree in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria district after a purported video of the incident surfaced on the internet, police said on Friday. The victim was assaulted as had reportedly asked one of the accused to return Rs 1,500 he had lent, they said.
According to the police, the incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon in a village under Deoria’s Kotwali police station area. The victim, identified as Shamshad, was tied to a tree in a deserted field and brutally flogged, beaten and abused by six youths, who also recorded the incident on their mobile phones.
The police began investigations and arrested the prime accused, identified as Nisar, on Thursday after a video clip of the incident went viral. Five others were arrested on Friday, while police were on the lookout for another accused.
“Shamshad had lent Rs 1,500 to Nasir two months ago, which the latter had not returned. The duo had quarrelled over the issue and Shamshad had also beaten Nasir for not returning the money. Nasir avenged this beating on Wednesday,” a police officer said. He added that Nisar and his friends had lured Shamshad to a deserted field, where they assaulted him.
In the purported video, Shamshad is seen tied to a tree with a orange shirt while the accused take turns to flog and beat him. One of the accused is seen twisting the victim’s arm as he pleads to be let off.
“We have registered a case of dacoity and assault (in the matter). We are now looking for Vikas Yadav, who has a history of crime in the area. He is one of the main accused,” Deoria Superintendent of Police Rohan P Kannay said.
“Earlier, non-cognisable report was filed when Shamshad had approached the poilce. But when the video went viral we realised the gravity of the crime and converted the report to an FIR,” the SP said.
On March 20, a 28-year-old married woman, who had reportedly eloped with a youth, was publicly flogged on the orders of a panchayat in Uttar Pradesh’s Longa village. The incident came to light after a purported video of her being beaten in full public view went viral.