7 arrested in Dalit thrashing incident in Rajasthan; protests in state assembly
Jaipur, Feb 20: Seven people were arrested for torturing two Dalit men in Rajasthan's Nagaur district, an incident that triggered protests in the state assembly and condemnation by political leaders on Thursday. Apart from the seven arrested, seven others have been detained in this connection, police said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed the torture of the Dalits as "horrific and sickening" and asked his party government in the state to take immediate action to bring the perpetrators to book.
"The recent video of two young Dalit men being brutally tortured in Nagaur, Rajasthan is horrific and sickening. I urge the state Government to take immediate action to bring the perpetrators of this shocking crime to justice," he tweeted.
According to the police, the incident took place on February 16 at a motorcycle service agency in Karanu village falling under Panchodi police station area.
The staffers of the agency attacked the Dalits after accusing them of committing theft. The brutal incident came to light after a video of the assault went viral. In the video, a group of men is seen thrashing two persons with rubber belts.
They later torture one of the victims by pouring petrol on his private parts with a piece of cloth wrapped on a screwdriver.
"Seven people have been arrested after registering a case against them under various sections of IPC and the SC/ST Act. A cross FIR has also been registered for stealing money. We are ascertaining how much money was stolen from the service agency counter.
Further investigation in the matter is on," DSP Nagaur, Mukul Sharma said.
The arrested accused have been identified as Bhim Singh, Idaan Singh, Hanuman Singh, Raghuveer Singh, Chhail Singh, Chhatar Singh and Rehmatullah, he said.
Meanwhile, three legislators of the opposition Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), holding placards, entered the Well of the House in protest against the incident. When the Speaker asked them to return to their seats ahead of the budget speech, the legislators walked out of the House.
The legislators Narayan Beniwal, Indra Devi and Pukhraj later sat on a dharna on the stairs outside the assembly to lodge their protest. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said timely action was taken in the matter and seven persons have been arrested.
"In the horrific incident in Nagaur, immediate and effective action has been taken and seven accused have been arrested so far. Nobody will be spared. The culprits will be punished according to the law and we will ensure that the victims get justice," he tweeted.
Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot tweeted, "The case of brutal beating of Dalit youths which took place in Nagaur district is serious. The law and order in the state should remain strong and every citizen should feel safe, this is the priority of the government. If anyone tries to take law and order into their hands, strict action will be taken against them".
The opposition BJP, however, hit out at the state government for "deteriorating" law and order situation in the state. Taking an apparent dig at Rahul Gandhi's tweet against the incident, BJP state president Satish Poonia said the Congress leader can work only by tweeting.
"We have seen in the past how much people and his government listen to Rahul Gandhi's words. If the Ashok Gehlot government becomes active after Rahul Gandhi's tweets, the people of Rajasthan will get justice," he told reporters.