An 11-year-old Dalit boy was allegedly tied to a tree, stri-pped, thrashed, stubbed with cigarette butts and had petrol poured over his genitals by four persons in Hapur, UP, after he refused to help them unload crates of soft drink bottles from a truck to be taken to a local shop in the village.
Sonu was playing outside his house in Doohri village on June 26 afternoon when these four persons, reportedly Tha-kurs, asked him to help them unload and transfer the crates of soft drinks. On usual days, he would happily do it for Rs 20 and a bottle of the cold drink that he would get as reward for his labour. But that day, he refused saying he was unwell. He, however, later agreed as the men promised him two bottles of his favourite drink.
“While unloading the cra-tes, Sonu started feeling dizzy. He told the men that the crates were very heavy and he cannot lift any more. The men, Tha-kurs, took it as an insult and told him that he cannot refuse to help them. When Sonu did not agree, they got sticks and started thrashing him,” a complaint filed by Sonu’s family stated. Hapur SSP Hapur M P Singh said, “We have registe-red a case in the matter for voluntarily causing hurt, intentional insult with intent to provoke, and SC, ST Prevention of atrocities Act against the four accused. We hope to arrest them soon.”
Sonu’s mother Usha told The Indian Express, “Some boys who were playing with my son came to the house running and told me that Sonu is being thrashed by some men at the government school. When I rushed to the spot, I saw that they had tied Sonu to a tree trunk and were beating him mercilessly. They were smoking beedis and cigarettes and were stubbing on my son’s back. I shouted for help and asked them to stop. The moment they saw me coming, they untied my son, put him in the car and took him away.”
She alleged her son was then taken to the railway line in the nearby village and was tied to one of the tracks. “They tied my son to the track and left him to die. The flag man on duty luckily saw my son and signalled an approaching train to stop. The four men then untied him again and took him with them,” she said. Usha said she approached police, but the officers on duty asked her to go home and wait for her son. “I then approached the village Pradhan,” she said. In the evening, the pradhan got her son back.