Botad district police booked two policemen of Dhhasa police station in the district under various provisions of the IPC and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in connection with custodial torture of eight Dalits of a village who were arrested for alleged violation of lockdown last month.
The FIR against the two policemen was registered on April 5 based on a complaint by one of the eight Dalits, Ankit Vaniya (24). The two policemen have been identified as police sub-inspector Brijesh Raval and assistant sub-inspector Alpesh Khuman.
In his complaint, Vaniya – a labour of centering in construction – stated that the alleged incident happened on March 28 when some 20 policemen entered his house and arrested him along with seven other Dalits from the locality. The eight were taken to Dhhasa police station and allegedly booked in a false case of lockdown violation. Vaniya alleged that at Dhhasa police station, they were mercilessly beaten up by Raval, Khuman and many other policemen whom he can identify by face. He has also alleged that while beating them, the policemen had hurled casteist abuses at them. Vaniya also stated that the entire action against the Dalits has roots in a wedding four months back when an order for DJ Party was not given to a man who is a friend of a policeman in the district.
The case is being investigated by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (SC/ST Cell), Z R Desai who could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Botad Police Superintendent Harshad Mehta said that they have registered an FIR against the two policemen under the provisions of the IPC and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act based on a complaint given by the complainant. “Now, further investigations are on by the Deputy SP of the SC/ST Cell,” Mehta said.
The episode had gone viral on social media last month after Congress MLA from Dasada Naushad Solanki posted pictures of the badly bruised Dalits on social media. He had also raised questions on why the Dalits were given such an inhuman treatment by police in such times of lockdown.
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