A slum in Hyderabad's RK Puram is on the boil after a man in the area was allegedly thrashed in front of the Rythu Bazaar (farmers’ market) in the area.
The incident occurred at around 8:30 am on Tuesday, when a group of 15 to 20 people allegedly came armed with sticks and beat up the man, Devender.
Devender had been collecting photos and videos of alleged illegal dumping of pig waste into the RK Puram Lake adjacent to the slum, which was causing it to froth and emit toxic foam.
He had been submitting the evidence to the media and authorities of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
The frothing at the RK Puram lake was first reported in June, following which officials from the Pollution Control Board (PCB) visited the lake and collected water samples.
Preliminary tests showed that the lake frothed due to sewage water and the alleged dumping of animal waste.
There are several piggery units and pork shops in RK Puram, where the waste remaining after the animal is slaughtered is allegedly dumped in the water body.
Despite hefty fines and closure notices by officials of the GHMC who visited the spot, the waste dumping continues, according to locals.
Locals allege that the man was beaten up by the owners of the piggery units as GHMC officials had conducted multiple raids based on the photos and videos sent by him.
"They came in the morning with sticks and rods and first went to his house. They told people in his house that he had spoiled their business, and then went to Rythu Bazaar and thrashed him. They also filed a fake police complaint against him that he was harassing women in their house," Sai, a local, told TNM.
Besides manhandling him, Sai said that Devender’s phone was also broken.
"There were many witnesses who saw what happened. They would have beaten him to death if other people did not intervene. He is not even able to sit up straight right now," Sai said.
"He was just trying to help the government and protect the lake. All these days we were quiet, but now we want to know if the government will help us and give us protection. He's been manhandled twice before," Sai adds.
According to sources, those running the slaughterhouses in the area were local goons who also wield considerable political influence, as they enjoy the support of a TRS leader.
The police are yet to register an FIR in the incident.