Two teenage boys assaulted, paraded naked in Maharashtra village for ‘daring’ to swim in a well

first_imgIn a shocking incident, two teenage boys from the backward Matang community were assaulted and paraded naked in a village in north Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district after they reportedly went for a swim in a well belonging to a man from an upper caste.According to the police, the incident occurred on Sunday when Sachin Chandane and his cousin, Rahul, went for a swim in the well belonging to Ishwar Balwant Joshi.This enraged Mr. Joshi, who believed the boys had polluted the village’s water source. Not content with driving them out of water, he, along with an accomplice, assaulted the duo with sticks and blunt objects. He later paraded them naked through Wakadi village.A video of the incident later went viral, drawing sharp criticism from social activists and politicians alike.Complaint registeredSources said the Chandane family, who belong to a nomadic Scheduled Tribe, were under pressure to lodge a case, and finally mustered courage to register the complaint 48 hours after the incident.“We have arrested Joshi and one Prahlad Lohar in this matter acting on a complaint lodged by Sachin and his mother, Durgabai, on Wednesday evening,” said an officer from the Pahur police station in Jalgaon.The accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.“It is indeed unfortunate that caste prejudices continue to bedevil progressive Maharashtra even today. It is understandable if the youths had been asked not to swim in the well…but the subsequent assault and humiliation smacked of a deep-seated prejudice against so-called ‘lower’ castes,” said Avinash Patil of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti .Mr. Patil demanded that the accused be also booked under the newly enacted Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.Dilip Kamble, Minister of State for Social Justice, said steps were immediately taken to catch the miscreants.Union Minister Ramdas Athawale condemned the incident and demanded stern action against those arrested.“This incident smacks of a perverted mind … it transcends mere caste considerations,” said Revenue Minister and senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil.Congress team to visit villageA delegation of Congress leaders are to visit the village on Friday. “Lack of conviction in atrocity cases have emboldened communal elements in the State. The Manuwadi mentality of the government is leading to increase in atrocities against Dalits. We demand strict action against the accused,” said Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan.Nationalist Congress Party chief Jayant Patil, said, “Maharashtra’s image of a progressive State is being ruined by communal elements even as the State government is busy accusing Dalits as Naxalites.”last_img