A Sub-Inspector and two constables allegedly assaulted the man, who had been booked after a brawl with dominant caste men in his village.

Prasad from Seethanagaram wearing a red and blue full sleeved t shirt while standing against tall trees
news Crime Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 11:35

A Sub-Inspector of Police and two constables were suspended in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh for allegedly harassing a Dalit man, by tonsuring his head, shaving his moustache and physically assaulting him. The policemen were arrested on Tuesday.

The incident took place when the man, Prasad, was summoned to the Seethanagaram Police Station in Rajahmundry on Monday. It surfaced on Tuesday following which authorities held an inquiry. Seethanagaram SI Sheikh Feroze Shah and two other constables were suspended and booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. 

Prasad's head was tonsured by the Seethanagaram police 

Addressing the media, Eluru Range Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) KV Mohan Rao said that an inquiry had been conducted on Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang’s orders. 

“After conducting an inquiry into the incident related to Varaprasad, who is a Dalit man, SI Sheikh Feroze Shah has been suspended for beating him, and shaving his head and moustache,” DIG Mohan Rao said. 

The TDP strongly condemned the incident, and has alleged that the young man, Prasad, was assaulted by the police on the behest of local YSRCP leaders, for questioning illegal sand mining in the region. 

However, Seethanagaram police claim that Prasad had been involved in a fight with a group of people from the Kapu community, who had complained against him. A constable from the Seethanagaram police station said that on July 18, a few young men from the dominant Kapu community abused Prasad, when in a drunken state. While the village elders said that the issue could be resolved the following day, according to Seethanagaram police, Prasad and some of his associates stopped a car in which the other group was travelling, and broke the glass window. 

The Kapu men approached the police on July 19 over the incident, claiming they were attacked by Prasad when they were accompanied by women. Prasad and his associates have been booked under Sections 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 341 (Wrongful restraint), 354 (Criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (Criminal intimidation) and 427 (Mischief causing damage) read with 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

The three policemen have been booked under Sections 323 and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (Criminal intimidation) read with 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC, and relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also took note of the incident and issued a statement that officials were instructed to take strict action against the accused.