Srikakulam: The Andhra Pradesh police, on 5 August, suspended an inspector in the Srikakulam district for beating a Dalit man who had come to the police station to lodge a complaint about a dispute over the distribution of housing sites.

The video of the inspector, C. Venugopal of the Palasa-Kasigbugga police station, kicking Marri Jagan on his stomach and slapping him a couple of times in front of his mother went viral on social media, triggering protests from the Telugu Desam Party leaders and Dalit organisations.

As the incident caused an uproar in the state, Deputy Chief Minister Dharmana Krishna Das instructed the superintendent of police, Amit Bardar, and the deputy inspector general (Visakha Range) L.K.V Ranga Rao to order a probe into the incident and take action against the erring police inspector.

Mr Bardar told reporters that Venugopal had been placed under suspension and a probe had been ordered. Condemning the behaviour of the officer, he apologised to the victim’s family on behalf of the AP police. “We will take measures to prevent such instances in the future,” he assured them.

The Andhra Pradesh director general of police, Gautam Sawang, also said such “highhanded behaviour is not acceptable in the police department”. The AP police, through its Twitter handle, said it will not tolerate such behaviour. “An incident was reported regarding Police behaviour with Youth in Srikakulam Dist. Inspector Kasibugga has been suspended for his highhanded #behaviour. An enquiry has also been ordered to go into the facts. Such behaviour cannot be tolerated within #APPolice & @POLICESRIKAKULM,” it tweeted.

The victim, Marri Jagan from the Tekkali area in the district, had a dispute with some villagers over land patta. On Tuesday evening, Jagan and his mother went to the Kasibugga-Palasa police station to lodge a complaint. However, inspector Venugopal got angry and kicked Jagan. His mother came to his rescue and took him away.

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