In a reminder of how India treats backward castes, five tribal men, including a minor, were tortured and assaulted in Nanpur police station in Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
According to relatives, an argument ensued between police personnel and the tribal men, when they were returning from Adivasi Diwas at Nanpur Phata Dam. They further alleged that the police officers under the influence of alcohol.
The five men were taken into custody. They were allegedly beaten, tortured and assaulted by the police. The tribals categorized as ST in our constitution, then suffered the most abominable crime – they were made to drink human urine.
The tribals were booked under Section 353 of IPC which says that “assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”
The Police claims that the five men had a dispute with another man which lead to a heated argument resulting in the scuffle behind their arrest. The abominable police atrocity happened later in custody. The Superintendent of Police has already initiated an enquiry into the incident.
Superintendent of Police Vipul Srivastava said- “a departmental inquiry has been initiated against the four police personnel and also suspended them for this abominable crime.” They have been released by the local court on bail and admitted to the district hospital.
Almost 20,000 reported cases of violent against STs between 2014 and 2016
As per the previous reports by National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), the endemic discrimination and crimes against both SCs and STs have risen year by year, not only by the non-SCs/STs but also by the police personnel.
The total cases reported between 2014 to 2016 were 19671. However, there are many cases which go unreported outside of the law’s ambit either through threat or force or resolved via compromise.
Specific laws for the protection of SCs/STs includes- Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
It is a question on National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). There will be a committee step-up and inquiry made into the matter in an attempt to bring justice to the five tribal men against the heinous crime which degrades humanity. Add to that fact that the crime was committed by the officers who are supposed to protect and safeguard the fundamental rights of citizens.
Caste-based discrimination and crimes against backward classes still remain a mainstream issue even after 72 years of independence.
However, only focusing on the atrocities by police personnel will be unfair. The crime reflects the social injustice that still plagues India’s society. Caste-based discrimination and crimes against backward classes still remain a mainstream issue even after 72 years of becoming an independent, liberal and inclusive India.
By: Abhishek Kumar Sushil, Staff Writer, DKODING Media