A tribal labourer was allegedly thrashed in Dahegam town of Gandhinagar district on Sunday when the villagers reportedly mistook him for a robber. The labourer was tied to a tree and thrashed with pipes and sticks by villagers who wanted to teach the ‘robber’ a lesson.
The victim, Churmal Bhura Ambaliya, a resident of Motera in Ahmedabad, has filed police complaint after he was admitted to Gandhinagar civil hospital.
The Dahegam police said, Churmal was walking near Narmada canal when the villagers surrounded him and started questioning. When he told them he is a labourer and is working near the canal, the villagers reportedly didn’t believe him and dragged him to Harsholi village.
The villagers allegedly tied him to a tree and held him captive in front of the panchayat. He was questioned again and again over his ‘secret intention’ of coming close to their village.
One of the villagers, however, called the police control room to help the victim.
The victim was later rushed to Gandhinagar civil hospital. When the police from Dahegam police station went to take the stock of the situation, the villagers allegedly attacked the policemen.
Dahegam Inspector AA Saiyed told the Indian Express, “When the Lok Darbar was held our senior officers spoke to villagers personally and counselled them to not get scared and attack innocent people on mere suspicions. We had requested the villagers to inform us if they see any suspicious person or catch hold of him/them and hand it over to us. However, they are taking law in their hand and trying to give justice themselves by thrashing innocent persons in suspicion of gangs operating in the area. The rumours spreading in the district have left people terrified and they are even attacking cops when we go to stop the clashes”.
The Dahegam police have booked around 200 persons for attempt to murder, dacoity, assault under the Indian Penal Code and a separate case of Atrocity Act has been also registered.
As the victim is a tribal, the case is now being investigated by the deputy SP of the SC/ST Cell AD Vatalia. DSP Vatalia said, “I am in the process of talking to the victim and recording his statements. We will investigate this case thoroughly”.
From last one week, the villagers in Kuha-Kanbha are hearing rumours threatening loots, robberies and gangs that arrive at night for dacoity. Prior to this incident, an Army jawaan was severely thrashed by villagers who mistook him for a robber out for robbery in the village on June 26 which had led to clashes between locals and police.
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