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Gujarat: Probe ordered into ‘police brutality’ on Dalits during lockdown

“My point is why people should be inhumanly beaten up like this? If they violated the police notification, then there should be legal action against them as per rules. Such inhuman use of force is not justified,” said Congress MLA from Dasada Naushad Solanki.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar | Updated: March 30, 2020 11:12:36 pm
Dalit atrocities, dalits beaten up, curfew violation, india lockdown, gandhinagar police, indian express Solanki had posted that eight Dalits of the village were badly beaten up by police for allegedly breaking the lockdown. (File/Representational)

Botad Superintendent of Police has ordered an inquiry into an episode of alleged police brutality on eight Dalits who were allegedly beaten up by police for alleged violation of police notification banning unlawful assembly during the ongoing lockdown. The inquiry order has been issued after the matter was raised by Congress MLA from Dasada constituency Naushad Solanki on social media Monday.

The issue has been reported from Vikaliya village of Botad district’s Dhhasa taluka. On his Twitter account, Solanki had posted that eight Dalits of the village were badly beaten up by police for allegedly breaking the lockdown. Solanki had also posted pictures of the eight Dalits’ badly bruised body parts on his twitter account while also tagging Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja.

Speaking with The Indian Express, Solanki said that he came to know that the eight are farm labourers and the policemen beat them for allegedly violating police notification.

“My point is why people should be inhumanly beaten up like this? If they violated the police notification, then there should be legal action against them as per rules. Such inhuman use of force is not justified,” said Solanki.

A relative of the eight Dalits said on the condition of anonymity that, “On March 25, one of our teenage boys had gone to get some milk from the market. A policeman had told him not to move out because of lockdown. At that time, the boy had told the policeman that he had gone to the market to fetch milk because it was needed in the family. This argument did not go down well with the policeman, who chased the boy to his house and then beat him.”

“Two days later, on March 28 at around 4 pm, around 40-50 policemen suddenly came to our locality and picked up eight male members from inside the houses and took them to Dhhasa police station. Later, they were falsely booked for violation of the police notification. During their police custody, the eight were badly beaten up by police,” he alleged.

When contacted, Botad Superintendent of Police Harshad Mehta said, “The incident is of March 28. I have got to know about it today (after it was raised by the MLA Solanki). The eight persons were arrested for violating police notification of Section 144. And they were released on bail from the police station itself.”

“I have ordered an inquiry by an officer of Deputy Superintendent of Police rank. Total three persons were (allegedly) involved in this; an assistant sub-inspector, A A Khuman, and two gram rakshak dal jawans. I have transferred Khuman from Dhhasa police station to district police headquarters,” Mehta added.

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