Suspected of stealing Rs 100, child from Pardhi community thrashed, paraded naked at Khanapur village in Home Minister's Sangli district
A 10-year- old boy was thrashed and paraded naked by a mob in a village in Home Minister R R Patil's home district of Sangli. The child was also forced to wear a board around his neck that said 'I am a thief'.The incident happened on Friday in Khanapur village, 70 km from Sangli.
Dateline Khanapur: The 10-year-old boy who was beaten, stripped
and made to wear a board around his neck that said he was a thief.
His head was also shaved, while his hands were tied behind his back
The boy was rounded up by a group of angry people on the suspicion that he had stolen Rs 100 from a villager. The ordeal for the boy did not end with the stripping as the villagers humiliated him in various other ways, which included shaving his head and tying his hands behind his back.
Humiliated: The 10-year-old boy after he was stripped in Khanapur
village in Sangli district on Friday. He was also made to wear a board
around his neck that said he was a thief, while his hands were tied
behind his back and the hair on his head was shaved
The villagers did not find any money on the child, whose trauma ended only after a local reporter intervened. A case was finally lodged against the villagers on Sunday afternoon for torturing the young boy.
Boy goes missing
The boy has gone missing after the incident. Members of the Pardhi community, to which the child belongs, are now looking for him. According to community members, knowledge of his whereabouts is essential to book the guilty under the Atrocities Act. Sunil Hawaldar, the local journalist who came forward to lodge a case demanding action against the villagers, said, "The act was horrifying and based only on the assumption that the boy had stolen Rs 100 from someone." Hawaldar said the mob was in no mood to listen to the boy and became violent in no time.
"It seems one of the villagers, upon realising he had lost Rs 100, alerted the crowd that was around. The mob then noticed three children loitering around and felt their movements were suspicious. The crowd began chasing them, and caught a ten-year-old boy while the other children ran away," Hawaldar said. "The onlookers then started beating him and threatening him to confess. After the boy denied having committed the theft, the agitated crowd stooped to the extremely low level of stripping him bare, and after tying his hands behind his back they paraded him through the bazaar."
According to eyewitnesses, the boy's ordeal continued till evening, when the police finally reached the spot. Upon conducting a search on the child, the police found some money on him, which he said his mother had given him. The boy was released and was handed over to his mother. "We have demanded stringent action against the guilty," Hawaldar said. Prakash Vaydande, the leader of the Pardhi community, has threatened to go on a hunger strike from today till the guilty are arrested. "We will raise this issue with the State Human Rights Committee and ask them to order an inquiry into this incident," Vaydande said.
Sangli district Superintendent of Police Ravindra Shisve said the role of villagers as well as negligence, if any, on the part of the police was being looked into. "We are in the process of identifying the people involved in the incident. We are also determining whether there was administrative negligence regarding the police reaching the spot and in what happened later. The place comes under the jurisdiction of the Vita police, but I have been told that the police station was not informed about the incident," Shisve said. The officer denied that the boy was naked when the police reached the spot around 5 pm.