Guna brutality: Quash FIR against Dalit family and book Police, demands Dalit women group

All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) has urged Madhya Pradesh Government to revoke the FIR filed against the Dalit family who was brutally beaten up by Madhya Pradesh Police at the cant area in Guna district during an anti-encroachment drive on 14 July 2020.

The Dalit women’s rights body further investigated the police atrocity on the Dalit family, did the fact-finding, and came with a detailed report.

A fact-finding team of AIDMAM proceeded to Guna on 23 July consisting of Ms. Gayatri Sonkar, State Coordinator AIDMAM, Prof. Rama Panchal, senior Dalit woman Activist, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights and writer, and other seven members.

The team visited the survivors in the government hospital, Guna. The team also visited the site of incidence, met the Police Superintendent, TS Bakhel, and collected the information as investigated by the police as yet.

The Dalit group’s fact-finding team appealed to file an FIR against the erring police officials under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act.

They also demanded the arrest of the medical officer Dr P Bunkar of District Hospital Guna and head of hospital administration under section 4 of SC/ST (PoA) Amendment Act 2015 for stopping the treatment and pressurizing the survivors to get discharged from the hospital who have not yet fully recovered.

Madhya Pradesh State Government must provide adequate compensation, relief and rehabilitation to the Dalit survivor family under Rule 12(4) of the SC/ST (PoA) Amendment Act, AIDMAM demanded.

They also demand the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Government to provide alternative accommodation to the Dalit survivor’s family by the state.

Here the unedited text of the document:

Background of the Case

In the year 2000, the disputed land was allotted to Sarvodaya Mission by the then government but there had not been any work on the land ever since. Thereafter, 6 years back, the title in the name of mission was dismissed by ex-District Magistrate and the land was declared as a government land. This disputed 8 acres of land (approx.) is situated at a prime location with the current estimated cost of more than 60 crores. In 2015, land mafia Gabbu Pardi illegally grabbed this land and started farming on it. After that he started giving this land on lease. In 2017, the disputed land was distributed and 4 acres each was allotted to the court as well as the medical college. In 2019, Gabbu Pardi was evicted from the land and a case was also filed against him. To claim his right on the land, Gabbu Pardi also filed a private complaint in the court. A notice was also issued to the chief Secretary of Revenue and Tehsildar, Guna in the same case by the court. However, due to the negligence and ignorance of the administration, Gabbu Pardi was able to possess the land.

Survivors Rajkumar Ahirwar (30) S/o Mangi Lal Ahirwar, his wife Savitri Ahirwar (26) W/o Rajkumar Ahirwar belong to Ahirwar caste (Scheduled Caste) resident of Nanakhedi, Guna, MP are landless farmers had taken the disputed land on lease from Gappu Pardhi who claims to be the land owner, and raised a loan to cultivate it. Their only fault was to farming on the disputed land of mafia Gabbu Pardi since 2019. The entire family has been residing on the disputed land for last two years.

After the allocation of the said land to the medical college, police help was taken to get the land vacated. On 14th July 2020, police visited the site of the event in the pretext of measuring the land. The police officials waited at a nearby school for some time and returned to the site of the event along with 10-15 police officials, Patwari and the Tehsildar with a JCB machine and started demolishing the wire fencing. On protesting, the survivors were beaten brutally.

Even after repeated pleading by the survivors, when police didn’t stopped the evacuation process, the Dalit couple decide to end their life by drinking pesticide. However, both the survivors fainted on the spot and were dragged from the site of event by the police officials to the hospital for their treatment. Following this, the Dalit survivors were booked under the charge of Impediment to State Work in FIR no. 641/2020 under Section 341, 309, 353, 186, 34 of IPC in PS Guna district on 14th July, 2020.

Intense Social media coverage and mileage for the incident resulted in the suspension of the Police Superintendent, District Collector and 6 other police officials. However, no case has been filed for the brutality being committed on the Dalits by the police.

Key Finding of the Fact-finding Team

  • Though complainant and Patwari of Kushmauda Shivshankar Ojha was executing the SDM Guna’s Order no. Steno/20/3772/Guna dated 13.7.2020 to vacate the disputed land (as per the FIR no. 641/2020 under Section 341, 309, 353, 186, 34 of IPC in PS Guna district on 14th July, 2020) but it was done without serving the prior notice to the survivor directing them to evict the land. The team went to the spot in the pretext of measuring the land. Mr Shivshankar Ojha reached the spot with the team of 20 Patwari including the Guna Patwari Nirmal Singh Rathore and police force suddenly.
  • Similar kind of act was done by the police last year when standing crop of wheat and Chana of the same survivor family which caused them a loss of two lakh rupees. But after assurance by Gabbu Pardi they again started farming on the disputed land.
  • The CI, Patwari, District Magistrate visited the survivors in the District Hospital on 23/7/2019 and it is allegedly said that the doctors stopped treating them after the visit as the officials asked the survivors to take discharge from the hospital.
  • Survivors did not recover fully because of the lack of proper medical attention of the hospital authorities.

Based on the facts gathered by the investigation team, AIDMAM strongly demands from the state government of Madhya Pradesh:

  • To file an FIR under Schedule Cast/Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 u/s Section 3(1)(g)(f)(r)(s)(p)(w)(i) and 3(2)(v)(a) and also under IPC Section 321, 341, 306, 354A against the erring police officials on behalf of survivors and ensure the free, fair and impartial investigation and charge sheet within 60 days.
  • To register a case against the erring police officials under section 4 of the SC/ST (PoA) Amendment Act for negligence and refusing the registration of the FIR of the survivors just to shield the police officials who committed brutality against the Dalit survivors.
  • To book the medical officer Dr P Bunkar of District Hospital Guna and head of hospital administration under section 4 of SC/ST (PoA) Amendment Act 2015 for stopping the treatment and pressurizing the survivors to get discharged from the hospital who have not yet fully recovered.
  • To ensure the immediate and proper medical treatment to the Dalit survivors in the hospital under the supervision of the senior medical officers and they should be retained in the hospital till they recover completely.
  • To immediately quash the FIR No. 641/2020 under Section 341, 309, 353, 186, 34 of IPC in PS Guna district on 14th July, 2020 filed against the Dalit survivor family.
  • To Provide the adequate compensation, relief and rehabilitation to the Dalit survivor family under Rule 12(4) of the SC/ST (PoA) Amendment Act.
  • To provide the alternative accommodation to the Dalit survivor’s family by the state.
  • We also demand the government to allocate at least 5 bigha of agricultural land to Dalit survivor’s family so that they do not face any issue of survival in the future. Along with this, 5 bighas of agricultural land should be allocated to every Dalit family displaced from the disputed land.
  • To make the arrangements for the quality education for the children of the Dalit survivor in the Ambedkar residential schools and Kasturba Gandhi residential schools by the state government.
  • To make arrangement for the consultation from a competent organization or counseling sessions for the mental health and psychological well-being of the Dalit woman survivor and her children in order to stabilize their mental state and also overcome the trauma caused by the incident.

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