Tribal youths beaten, tonsured for entering pandal: Jharkand

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Five youths belonging to a vulnerable tribal group called Korwa were assaulted in Jharkhand and one of them had his head tonsured for allegedly defiling the idol of Durga with their mere presence at the celebrations.

The Telegraph  reports that the youths were assaulted the day after Dashami (Wednesday, October 5) at Palhe village under Chiniya police station of Garhwa district. Finally, the frightened youths, prodded by their community members, somehow mustered the courage and lodged a police complaint on Sunday evening.

The targeted youth have been identified as Dinesh Korwa, Vinod Korwa, Ajay Korwa, Ganga Korwa and Rupesh Korwa — all aged between 20 and 25 years. They have lodged an FIR against the Beta panchayat mukhiya (chief),  Rameshwar Singh, Bandhu Yadav, Manoj Yadav and Manjay Yadav.

In the written complaint, the youths alleged that on Dashami, Vinod was clicking a picture of the Durga idol at a pandal in Palhe village when a few people pushed him out of the dais. They said Vinod should not come near the place of worship because he belonged to the Korwa community. They also roughed him up.

Ganga, Rupesh and Dinesh Korwa reached the spot and tried to mediate but all of them were beaten up for being “untouchable”. During the immersion ceremony, Ganga was also beaten up by Manoj, a resident of the same village, for daring to come to the procession.

On Thursday, the accused called all the five Korwa youths for a meeting at the panchayat. When they reached, their hands were tied and they were beaten up with sticks. Dinesh’s head was tonsured and the incident was filmed.

“The youths were so scared after the incident that they were not even prepared to come out of the house. We convinced them to lodge the complaint. We would not sit idle till all the culprits are booked,” said Nanhesar Korwa, a community leader based in Garhwa. Ranka sub-divisional police office, Sudarshan Kumar Astik, said prima facie the allegations were found to be true and two persons had been arrested.

“Prima facie, there is evidence of the youths being beaten up and one of their heads being tonsured. We have arrested two youths named in the complaint, Manoj and Manjay, and are searching for the other accused,” Astik said.

Jharkand is clearly emerging as another state where violent and partisan actions enjoy a wide currency.


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