Days after TNM reported about the plight of a 16-year-old boy, Vivek*, who was allegedly brutally assaulted by a man who had held him in bondage in Anantapur district, the office of the District Collector has taken steps to aid the victim.
District Collector G. Veerapandian took to Twitter to say that seven persons were arrested with regard to the case, and added that the medical expenses of the boy would be borne by the collector.
He also said that the teen would be given admission in a residential junior school. The Collector's office confirmed the same on Friday, adding that Veerapandian contacted the boy's family personally, and directed officials to take necessary action and rehabilitate the family.
Since the boy hailed from a poor family, who did not have a pakka house, the Collector also asked the local MRO and revenue officials to identify government land, and construct a house for them.
According to the police, the boy was beaten black and blue and brutally assaulted, even on his private parts, and his tongue was burned with a hot steel rod.
The incident occurred after the boy's parents had taken a loan of Rs 30,000 from a local agriculturalist and sheep trader named Mallikarjun in exchange for the boy being employed as a shepherd, till they repayed the money.
When the parents went to pay Mallikarjun back, they got into a heated argument with him. Mallikarjun claimed that the debt was not entirely paid off, and assaulted the boy later that day.
The boy was admitted to the Dharmavaram Government Hospital and later shifted to the Anantapur Government Area Hospital, as his condition remained critical. He has been discharged since then.
Speaking to TNM, Chennekothapalli MRO Sake Nagaraju said, "I have visited the boy in the hospital. The Collector called me, and asked me to provide a house to the family. We are also looking at other means to give financial assistance to the family."
He added that he would be inspecting various potential sites along with revenue officials soon.
Dharmavaram Circle Inspector, Harinath said, "We have arrested seven people on Tuesday. Along with Mallikarjun, we have also arrested Mallikarjun's relatives who aided the process of forcing the boy into bonded labour. They have been sent to remand."
"The boy has been discharged and he is recovering. We will work with revenue officials and the Labour Department to ensure that such incidents are avoided in the future," he added.
The accused have been booked under sections 324, 506, 342 of the IPC, besides relevant sections of the juvenile justice act and Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act.
NGO Balala Hakkula Sangham has also filed a petition in the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) over the incident.
It will come up for hearing on June 28.
7 persons were arrested and remanded in jail. All expenses of Medical support will be borne by govt.â€” Veerapandian IAS (@veerapandiang) June 22, 2017
I spoke to his father personally. He will be admitted in residential junior college. Also economic support will be provided to the family.â€” Veerapandian IAS (@veerapandiang) June 22, 2017