Dalit farmer couple in Madhya Pradesh assaulted by police, Collector and SP removed
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jul 16, 2020, 01:45 pm
The shocking incident of a poor dalit farmer couple being brutally assaulted by the police In Madhya Pradesh's Guna district on Tuesday has led to massive outrage across the nation. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted the video of the incident on his Twitter page of the couple being beaten up by the police after they tried to stop their crops from getting destroyed by revenue officers. Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi saying, "Our fight is against this mentality and injustice,".
The video shows the couple attemtping suicide by drinking pesticide after their crops were being destroyed by revenue department officials. The land, owned by the government, was being taken over for a college, by the officials, with the footage showing the couple being dragged and attacked by several policemen. The couple identified as Ram Kumar Ahirwar (38) and Savitri Devi (35) are currently undergoing treatment at a government hospital. The farmer couple's children too are seen in the video clinging onto them, while getting repeatedly assaulted by the police.
With an investigation already underway, Jyotiraditya Scindia tweeted saying, "The Guna SP (Superintendent of Police) and Collector have been removed, and an inquiry has been sought into the incident. I am confident that action will be taken against all those who are responsible for this heinous act,". Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was Rahul Gandhi's former aide, had switched to the BJP in March, which led to the Congress collapsing in the state.
The patch on the 5.5 acres of public land in which the couple grew and harvested crops, the government said, was set aside for a college building. The couple, however, stated that they have been farming on the land for many years. Savitri Devi in a statement said she and her husband didn't know whose land it was and that they had been farming there for years. She added that they felt they had no other choice, but to kill themselves when they witnessed the crop getting destroyed.
A local strongman named Gabbu Pardi had seized large parts of land in the area, the district administration said. According to reports, Ram Kumar and Savitri Devi were allegedly being used by Pardi to come in the way of the police as a means to prevent the government from taking back the lands. It is also being said the couple earlier paid Pardi a sum of Rs 3 lakhs.
On Tuesday, revenue department officials along with policemen went to the land in order to evict the people living in the area and begin work on the construction of a boundary wall for the proposed college. The assault on the couple was captured on camera when they began resisting the police evicting them. Cases have been filed on the couple while the cops who beat them up were let off.
Guna District Collector S Vishwanath, who was removed after the incident, earlier stated that the footage has been checked. He said the team had to act after the couple consumed pesticide in an attempt to commit suicide after which they were taken to the hospital immediately. He added saying that more such cases could have happened if the couple died and had the team not acted then and there immediately.
Watch the video of horrific incident shared by Rahul Gandhi on his Twitter page below:
हमारी लड़ाई इसी सोच और अन्याय के ख़िलाफ़ है। pic.twitter.com/egGjgY5Awm— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 16, 2020