A Dalit couple who allegedly attempted suicide in front of their children and police officers on seeing a JCB machine crush their standing crop was brutally assaulted by the policemen in Madhya Pradesh’s Jagatpur Chak area of Guna district on Tuesday.
Ramkumar Ahirwar and his wife Savitri resisted the government team’s bid to evict the couple’s family from a piece of “government-owned land” and went on to consume pesticides.
Following this, the policmen assaulted the farmer couple and forcibly dragged them into an ambulance. Ram Kumar’s mother and brother, who tried to save them, too were brutally assaulted by the cops.
The Dalit couple’s children tried to rush to save their parents and the crying children were verbally abused and pushed away by the police.
The duo were immediately shifted to the nearest government hospital and the latter is said to be critical.
Former state Chief Minister Kamal Nath took a dig at BJP Government alleging it of running a “jungle raj” in the state.
If our crop is destroyed, we don’t have any other option but to kill ourselves: Family
The Madhya Pradesh government had allotted the 20 bighas public land for construction of a Model Science College two years back, but the Dalit family has been practicing cultivation on it for a long time.
“We don’t know whose land it is, we’ve been practicing cultivation on it for a long time. We had taken possession of this land after paying Rs 3 lakh to Gabbu Pardi, a real estate businessman. If our standing crop is destroyed, we don’t have any other option but to die by suicide. My husband have a debt burden of Rs 3 lakh. Who will pay it, the government or anybody else?” Ram Kumar’s wife Savitri Bai asked.
FIR against family
Meanwhile, instead of acting against the police brutality, the police have registered FIRs against the couple and other locals present at the spot. Among other charges, 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) have been added to the FIR.
Videos showed policemen thrashing the couple’s mother and children.
Speaking to The Quint, state IG Gwalior Range Raja Babu Singh defended the police action and said the video has been clipped and is being shared as police weilding lathis on locals but the police was actually trying to shoo away the people who were resisting the cops from taking the unconscious farmer couple to the hospital
Govt removes Collector, SP from posts
After facing massive criticism from opposition, the Guna SP and the Collector, who had ordered the eviction drive and supported police action, were removed from their posts on Wednesday.
“We’ve probed the entire episode and checked the entire footage of the incident. Our team had to act only after the couple consumed pesticide and had to be rushed to the hospital. Had the team not acted, the couple could have died and more such cases could have taken place. The action was also essential as some others present on the spot were hell-bent on making the incident even more serious, but our priority was to rush the couple to the hospital. The couple is now out of danger,” Guna district collector S Vishwanath earlier told media.
Narottam Mishra, State Home Minister in a tweet, said a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the matter.