Two children aged eight and nine were stripped, tonsured and paraded wearing a garland of slippers for allegedly stealing a food packet from a shop in Ulhasnagar near Mumbai on Saturday . The accused shopkeepers not only assaulted and humiliated the two children, but also recorded their acts on mobile phones. Shockingly, the incident took place in front of a crowd, but none came forward to stop them. Acting on a complaint by the mother of one of the boys, the Hill Line police in the suburb later arrested Mehmood Pathan (62), and his sons Irfan, 26, and Salim, 22. The trio was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 355 for assault, 500 for defamation and 323 for injury, and also under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. They were produced before a court in Kalyan on Sunday which remanded them to a day’s police custody till Monday .The incident took place when the boys were playing near their home in Prem Nagar area in Ulhasnagar. They walked up to the neighbourhood sweet shop owned by Mehmood and stole a packet of `chaklis’, a pretzel-like snack made of rice flour, and fled.

Police said Mehmood who saw them shoplifting, asked his sons to teach them a lesson.Irfan and Salim caught both children and dragged them towards the shop. The duo shaved a part of their heads and then took their footwear and strung it around them. Finally they stripped the children and paraded them on the street.

Salim recorded the acts on his phone while Irfan slapped both several times. The clip went viral on social media.

Police said when the mother of one of the minors, who works as a domestic help in Ghatkopar, returned in the evening, she was shocked to see the child in such a state. The mother of one of the minors, along with the pa rent of the other child ho was initially reluctant to who was initially reluctant to press charges, filed a complaint.

Mohan Waghmare, senior police inspector of Hill Line station, said, “Late Saturday night, our team arrested the trio and on Sunday , they were produced before a holiday court which gave one day’s police custody .“

Speaking to TOI, Rajesh’s mother lamented that, “when the two children were paraded on the street, there were many people on the road, but no one stopped them.“ She said, “If my son had stolen something from their shop, they could have just complained to me. They should be punished for their actions.“