Atrocities against Dalits continue in AP under Jagan’s rule

In a horrifying case of atrocity against Dalits, two 18-year-olds were tied to a tree and beaten brutally for over 12 hours by policemen and upper caste men in the village for allegedly “stealing hens.” This incident of torture came to light West Godavari district in which Dharmajigudem policemen were involved. The two boys were identified as Venkateswara Rao and Santhosh. 
Narrating the atrocity against them, Santhosh explained: “When were were on our way to a nearby village on Monday, we stopped at small shop in Gonthupadu (village). While we were having a discussion on filling fuel, the lady of the shop assumed we were there to steal petrol. And, she raised doubts on whether we were the ones stealing hens in the village.” 
Following the lady’s outburst at the boys, locals in the village gathered while she kept accusing them of stealing petrol too. All of a sudden villagers began accusing the boys despite them pleading innocent. 
However, following this, another teenager who was with the boys was held up by the villagers. “They spoke to our parents and let us off. However, the next day, they caught two of us and tied us up to a tree. There they forced us to accept and confess in front of the police that we stole the hens,” he added, informing that they didn’t know anything about the hens. 
Amidst this incident going viral over social media, local police have registered cases against upper caste men responsible for atrocities. However, it is believed that the police were aware of the incident and yet ignored it. This incident reflects that it is not a one-off issue under the current government in Andhra Pradesh and these have been repeatedly happening since the last 15 months. 
Earlier too, several cases of atrocities against Dalits have been reported. It remains to be seen if the government will act stringently and ensure safety of this community in the state while also cracking a whip on police brutality. 

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