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Ulhasnagar children stripped, paraded: HC rejects bail of accused, says act will lead to ‘unbearable trauma to kids’

The HC also observed that there has been a constant increase in atrocities against members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe, and said it is the duty of every citizen to protect and preserve the self-respect and honour of members belonging to SC and ST.

Written by Sailee Dhayalkar | Mumbai |
Updated: October 18, 2018 7:40:17 am
One of the boys whose heads were tonsured, with his mother. (Deepak Joshi)

Rejecting the bail applications of two men jailed for partially tonsuring two children, parading them naked in a locality in Ulhasnagar and then circulating the video of their humiliation in May last year, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday observed, “This incident will certainly lead to unbearable trauma, fear and behavioral problems to the victims who happen to be young kids.” Justice A M Badar said the incident “will certainly lead to several abnormalities in their future life”.

The HC also observed that there has been a constant increase in atrocities against members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe, and said it is the duty of every citizen to protect and preserve the self-respect and honour of members belonging to SC and ST.

Rejecting the bail application of accused Irfan Mehmood Pathan and Salim Mehmood Pathan alias Tawakkal, Justice Badar said, “Such type of offence damages social fabric and harmony. Such offences develop a sense of inferiority amongst members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe. By such hateful acts, self-image, prestige and dignity of members of the Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribe is lost.”

The accused were challenging the order of the sessions court at Kalyan, which rejected their bail application. The accused were arrested by Hill Line police station, Ulhasnagar, under several sections of the IPC, Atrocities Act read with Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Information Technology Act and under sections of the Juvenile Justice Act.

According to the chargesheet, the complainant, mother of a nine-year-old, who belongs to the Mahar caste (SC), is a help making a living for her family members, which included her mother, brother and child. Both the boys are being raised by single mothers working as domestic helps. They were out at work when the incident occurred.

According to the statement of a witness given to police, on May 20, 2017, the nine-year-old boy along with his eight-year-old friend took a chakli (type of a snack) from the shop of Irfan and Salim and ate it. “Feeling enraged” by the act of the children, the court recorded, Irfan and Salim with other accused tonsured their heads partly. They denuded both the children and garlanded them with footwear. They were paraded naked in the locality by the accused. During the parade, the accused were seen hitting the boys with their hand and footwear. The entire incident was videographed by Salim and circulated on WhatsApp.

Irfan and Salim’s lawyer told the court that the accused have undergone pre-trial detention for about 17 months and trial has not commenced. He further told the court there is no evidence in the chargesheet to show that the mother and the boys are members of SC.

Assistant Public Prosecutor S V Gavand and advocate Shantanu Phanse, representing the complainant, told the court there is voluminous evidence against the accused.

sailee.dhayalkar@expressindia.com

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