National SC/ST commission member visited Nerella village in Telangana on Thursday after several Dalit rights activists, political parties and others alleged that the police detained and tortured Dalits connected to a sand-truck burning incident that took place on July 4.
Locals had alleged that the police had visited their houses after the incident, and had picked up eight men.
After meeting victims and recording their statements, Ramulu, the commission member confirmed that the victims were indeed abused by the Superintendent of Police, Vishwajit Kampati with casteist slurs.
Ramulu rapped the police department and asked for the transfer of Rajanna Siricilla Superintendent of Police, SP Vishwajit and for the suspension of the Circle Inspector. He also asked the National SC/ST commissioner to conduct a full inquiry into the incident.
Stating that the victims were tortured with third-degree treatment, he demanded a job, an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for each victim, and three-acre land for each victim.
Ramulu also questioned the SP and other police personnel and expressed dissatisfaction over their explanation.
He said that the statements made by the police and the villagers are contradictory.
(All images: Sai Ram Keshapaga)
According to the villagers, the victims were detained on July 4, while police claim that it was July 7. The SP, who was also present at the meeting, said that they had produced videos and pictures taken during the incident and said that they have identified 24 members involved in the incident and another 15 are yet to be identified.
After the incident, the police detained eight villagers (Dalits) from Nerella of Rajanna-Siricilla district for allegedly torching a sand-laden truck.
Reportedly, a sand-laden truck had hit and killed a villager on July 2, which angered the villagers and led to the torching of almost four trucks in retaliation.
The villagers said that it was not the first incident of hit and run by the sand-truck, similar incidents had taken place earlier.
Following their detention, family members of the detained, submitted a representation to State DGP Anurag Sharma alleging that police had implicated false cases against the imprisoned.
After meeting the detained victims, various rights activists cried foul over the treatment of police and alleged that the victims were subjected to three-degree torture and also casteist abuses.
This controversy further snowballed into a major issue as political parties like Congress and BJP stepped in and demanded SC/ST atrocities case be booked against the police.