Assault on Dalit couple: NCW asks MP police to ensure swift, fair probe

The NCW has asked the Madhya Pradesh police to ensure “swift and fair” investigation into the incident where a couple was assaulted by the police after they consumed pesticide to protest their removal from a government plot.
Noting that the incident has drawn widespread outrage and calls for action, the National Commission for Women said it is seriously concerned about the incident.
A Dalit couple who were being removed from a plot of government land allotted for a college in Guna city of Madhya Pradesh consumed pesticide in protest, a senior official had said. A video showing the police beating up the man mercilessly had gone viral on social media.
“The Commission is seriously concerned about the incident and the reported police brutality though it is the role and duty of the police to preserve public order, prevent crimes and reduce the opportunities for the commission of crimes,” NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said in a letter to Vivek Johri, Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh.
“Considering the gravity of the matter, the Commission be apprised about the true nature of events and ensure swift and fair investigation in the matter and a report be sent to the Commission at an early date,” she said.
The Madhya Pradesh government has transferred the district collector and the Superintendent of Police (SP).
District collector S Vishwanathan had earlier said,”The (farm) land was reserved for a government model college. Rajkumar Ahirwar (38) and his wife Savitri (35) were working on the land. Gabbu Pardi, who had encroached on the land, had given them work.
When officials asked them to vacate the field, they protested and drank pesticide at the behest of those who had encroached on the land, he claimed.
The two also refused to go to hospital so the police had to use force to take them to hospital, the collector had claimed.
A purported video of the incident showed the police hitting the man mercilessly with batons and his wife and others trying to save him.