Three minor Dalit boys were stripped, beaten and paraded nude in a village in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district for swimming a village well. The atrocious incident took place on June 10 but came to light only after some videos of the boys’ being paraded in Vakadi village went viral. The video was widely circulated on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
Maharashtra social justice minister Dilip Kamble told media persons that two persons have been arrested and further investigations are underway.
Union social welfare minister Ramdas Athawale expressed his concern over rising number of such incidents and demanded action against the perpetrators.
According to reports, the 3 boys aged around 12-14, reportedly jumped into the village well to escape the scorching heat, however, some locals learnt of it, allegedly from upper castes, gathered near the well and pulled the 3 out.
They were shouted at and subjected to abuses before some persons allegedly forced the boys to strip and paraded them naked around the village.
In the video that’s doing rounds on the Internet, the 3 boys can be seen only wearing only sandals and tree leaves, and the video showed at least 1 person whipping them on the legs and back with sticks and what appeared to be a leather belt.
Many Dalit political leaders from the opposition Congress and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, including ex-minister Eknath Khadse and Gujarat Dali leader Jignesh Mewani, have condemned the incident and demanded that culprits be booked under the SC/ST act.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan and former state minister Laxman Dhoble termed the incident unfortunate and said that number of such incidents is on the rise in recent times and the matter has also been discussed in Parliament.