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Political storm over torture of Dalit youths in Rajasthan

Jaipur, Feb 20 (IANS) A viral video showing two Dalit youths in Rajasthan being beaten and tortured and a screwdriver being inserted into the rectum of one of the victims, has snowballed into a political controversy as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked the state government to look into the issue.

“The recent video of two young Dalit men being brutally tortured in Nagaur, Rajasthan is horrific & sickening. I urge the state government to take immediate action to bring the perpetrators of this shocking crime to justice,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot soon after confirmed that seven culprits have been arrested in the case.

“In the horrific incident in Nagaur, immediate and effective action has been taken and seven accused have been arrested so far. Nobody will be spared. The culprits will be punished according to the law and we will ensure that the victims get justice,” Gehlot tweeted.

Meanwhile Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal said that this incident flouts all norms of human rights.

“The case registered is under sections of normal violence while the video shows that the they had tried to kill the victims,” he said.

Nagaur Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikas Pathak said that the accused have been charged under sections of SC/ST Act as well as for bodily offences among others.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties including the BJP and its alliance partner RLP led by Beniwal questioned the police functioning which failed to take immediate cognisance in the matter as the video went viral on February 16 when the incident was reported.

The three RLP MLAs on Thursday entered the state Assembly holding placards demanding a stop to atrocities on Dalits. It being the Budget day, the Speaker had to intervene and three of them staged a walkout and then staged a ‘dharna’ at the entrance of the Assembly.

BJP state president Satish Poonia told IANS that state government should open its eyes at least after Rahul Gandhi’s tweet. Despite incidents such as when a Dalit woman was raped and filmed in presence of her husband, the police in the state is yet to learn a lesson, he said.

“Why did the police lodge a case on February 19 and not on February 16 when it was reported?” he asked.

Police officials confirmed that the video of the incident, which occurred on February 16 in Karnu village of Nagaur’s Panchaudi area, went viral on the same day, showing the accused dousing a petrol layered screwdriver into the rectum of one of the victims.

The reason they were tortured was because they allegedly tried to steal money from the cashbox at a motorcycle showroom, SP Pathak said.

–IANS

arc/kr

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