The victim told the reporters that he and three others had stopped the movement of sand trucks passing through the lane of his residence because of a death in the area.

ANDHRA-PRADESH Updated: Jul 21, 2020 20:17 IST

Srinivasa Rao Apparasu |

A sub-inspector and a constable were suspended in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district on Tuesday for allegedly beating up and tonsuring a Dalit youth in the police station on Sunday night for allegedly confronting a local YSR Congress Party leader.

The incident happened at Seethanagaram police station. The victim, I Vara Prasad from Vedullapalli village, was admitted to Rajahmundry government hospital for treatment.

Prasad told reporters that he and three others had stopped the movement of sand trucks passing through the lane of his residence because of a death in the area. He had asked the truck drivers to wait for some time till the body was moved from the place for the last rites.

“A local YSR Congress leader came there and questioned us for stopping the sand trucks. This led to an argument. On Monday morning, Seethanagaram sub-inspector police Shaik Feroze Shah, along with two other constables, came to the village and took me and two others to the police station in the name of investigation,” he said.

Prasad alleged that the SI had beaten him up severely with a belt and kicked him. “He later called a barber, got my head tonsured and my moustaches removed forcibly,” he said.

Telugu Desam Party president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu condemned the tonsuring of the Dalit youth. “Jungle Raj has returned to AP. Vara Prasad’s head was tonsured by leaders belonging to YCRC,” Naidu tweeted.

The TDP chief said that the incident happened in the presence of policemen who heckled and beat the man to pulp and thus destroying the self-esteem of a Dalit man. “His only mistake was to question the illegal sand mining in the region. What is happening to the policemen? Why have they become toys in the hands of the corrupt ruling party men? This is a serious violation of rights,” he said.

Following protests by local Dalit organisations, deputy superintendent of police PSN Rao conducted an inquiry into the incident and announced suspension of Feroze Shah and another constable.

Eluru range Deputy Inspector General KV Mohan Rao said a case had been booked against the sub-inspector and two others under Sections 324, 323 and 506 of Indian Penal Code and also under SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act.

“We regret the incident of humiliating a Dalit youth by the Seethanagaram police. We shall take stringent action against the accused police and ensure that such incidents do not recur,” the DIG said.

Andhra Pradesh director general of police Gautam Sawang also condemned the incident and ordered a comprehensive inquiry into the incident.

Former Amalapuram MP GV Harsha Kumar demanded that stringent punishment be awarded for all the police officers responsible for the humiliation of Dalit youth.

Courtesy HT