Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar called on Dalit victims of alleged police torture at a jail in Telangana on Monday.
Accompanied by state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy and other party leaders, she visited the Karimnagar District Jail and met the youths who were allegedly tortured by police for setting fire to two sand-laden trucks in Nerella at Rajanna-Sircilla district on July 2.
Later, she told the media that they were allowed to meet only four victims, although three others were lodged in the same jail. She said another critically injured victim was still in hospital.
Condemning the atrocities on the Dalits, she said the police beat up the youth and tortured them with electric shocks.
"They broke down while narrating the police brutality. They have also sustained internal injuries," she said.
The Congress leader demanded that "false cases" booked against the victims should be withdrawn and those involved in torturing them should be booked under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
She slammed the central and the state governments for not initiating a probe into the incident.
Targeting the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, she asked: "Is this the Telangana state we fought for?"
Meira Kumar demanded an end to the activities of the sand mafia. The former Speaker said her party would raise the issue in Parliament.
Meanwhile, Sircilla town remained tense as a large number of policemen were deployed to foil a proposed public meeting by the Congress to protest the alleged police torture.
The district administration has denied permission for the meeting scheduled to take place on Monday evening.
Congress leaders have moved the Hyderabad High Court, challenging the restriction by the district administration.
On July 2, villagers of Nerella torched four sand-laden trucks, after a sand truck hit and killed a villager on the same day. Following this, the police detained and imprisoned 15 Dalit men on July 7.
Recently, on July 27, National SC/ST Commission member Ramulu visited Nerella, and interacted with families of the victims and also recorded both police and victim statements.
Unconvinced with the reports of police, Ramulu demanded for the transfer of Karimnagar Superintendent of Police, Vishwajit Kampati and suspension of local Circle Inspector.
He also asked the National SC/ST Commission to initiate a probe into the incident.