Dalit couple attempt suicide after forceful eviction, police brutality

The state government has sacked the District Collector and SP after a video of the brutal attacks by the police on the couple went viral

Image Courtesy:thequint.com

 In a suicide attempt, a helpless Dalit couple from Madhya Pradesh’s Guna district allegedly drank pesticide after their crops were forcefully razed by revenue department officials, NDTV reported. The incident which took place on Tuesday, July 14, also revealed atrocious police brutalities on Ram Kumar Ahirwar (38) and Savitri Devi (35) as they were assaulted by police officers before being dragged into an ambulance.  Disturbing visuals of the incident show Savitri clinging on to her husband as the police brutally rain blows on them with their lathis.


The incident

NDTV reported that according to the government in 2018, 20 bighas (5.5 acres) of land had been set aside for building a college. Allegedly, this land was encroached upon by Ahirwar and Savitri Devi who had claimed that they had been farming there for years.

It was reported that on Tuesday, officials from the state revenue department, along with the cops, had visited the land to evict the couple and construct a boundary wall there. However, the couple resisted and when their crops were bulldozed, they drank pesticide in an attempt to kill themselves. The cops reportedly also pushed and verbally abused the couple’s children who were seen crying and pleading for mercy.

NDTV reported Savitri Devi as saying that she and Ahirwar were Rs. 3 lakh in debt and that they didn’t know whose land it was. She said, “We’ve been farming on it for a long time. When our standing crop was destroyed, we didn’t have other option, but to kill ourselves.”

The Quint reported IG Gwalior Range Raja Babu Singh as saying that the real squatter on the land was a person named Dabbu Pardhi who allegedly had many criminal cases against him and that he had sublet the land to the Ahirwars for tilling.

Action by police and government

While the police was let go scot free, an FIR was registered against the couple and they were booked under Section 353 of the IPC (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, Section 309 of the IPC (Attempt to suicide) among other charges, The Quint reported.

The publication also reported that IG Raja Babu Singh also alleged that the video had been clipped and shared as the police wielding lathis, but the police was only trying to shoo away the people who were resisting the cops from taking the farmer couple to the hospital.

Opposition criticizes MP government

Condemning the incident, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to say, “Our fight is against this mentality and injustice.”


Urging the government to thoroughly investigate the matter and saying that the incident deserved nationwide condemnation, National President of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mayawati, took a dig at both the BJP and Congress saying that the reports of atrocities against Dalits were as common in the rule of the BJP as they were in the Congress. She urged the Dalit community to think about such incidents becoming rampant.


A statement from the office of Kamal Nath, General Secretary of the Congress stated that if there was a dispute with regards to the land, it could have been taken care of legally instead of the officials taking the law in their own hands and beating up the couple and their other family members.


Only after criticism and the growing outcry, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered for the sacking of the District Collector S Vishwanathan and Superintendent of Police (Guna), Tarun Nayak. MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that a high-level investigation team would be leading a probe in the matter.




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