East Godavari: A Sub-Inspector (in-charge) of Police of Seethanagaram police station and two constables have been suspended by Rajahmundry Urban SP Shemushi Bajpai for allegedly thrashing and forcefully tonsuring a Dalit, I. Vara Prasad, in Seethanagarm police station of East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh.

A few days ago, Vara Prasad’s friend suffered injuries when his bike was hit by a sand-laden vehicle near Muni Crossroads of Seethanagaram. Vara Prasad rushed to the spot and he and his friend were waiting for the ambulance. The local YSR Congress party leader, Krishna Murthy, also reached the place in his car and he entered into a heated argument with Vara Prasad stating that Prasad has been obstructing sand-laden vehicles which spiralled into a scuffle between the duo.

Seethanagaram police station in-charge SI Firoz, on the directions of Krishna Murthy, asked Vara Prasad to appear before the police and asked him to apologise to the YSRCP leader. When Vara Prasad refused to do so, the police thrashed him and also tonsured him with a trimmer in the police station on Sunday night.

An injured Vara Prasad was admitted to the Government General Hospital in Rajahmundry and he lodged a complaint against the police officer, Firoz, citing that he harassed him physically and mentally by taking bribe from the YSRCP leader.

Based on the preliminary inquiry into the incident, the SP suspended Firoz and the department inquiry is pending. The SP said that they will register criminal cases against the SI.

Responding to this, AP DGP Goutham Sawang expressed anguish over the incident of humiliating a Dalit youth by the Seethanagaram police and ordered suspension of Sub Inspector Fheroz and a constable who responsible for it. DGP said the cases were charged under SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act on the sub inspector and a detailed inquiry is ordered and asserted that these type of incidents are not acceptable. “We have taken prompt disciplinary section by suspending the SI and 2 other staff members in E.G district seethanagaram police station incident” DGP said.

The case has drawn sharp criticism from the opposition party in Andhra Pradesh. Former Chief Minister and TDP National President N Chandrababu Naidu, called it a “Jungle Raj” in AP. “Policemen who were present heckled and beat the man to pulp and thus destroying the self-esteem of a Dalit man. His only mistake was to question the illegal sand mining in the region. What is happening to AP policemen? Why have they become toys in the hands of the corrupt ruling party men? This is a serious violation of rights” the leader asked.

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