Ganesh Guin, 15-year-old son of a daily wage labourer, was caught by some people on the allegations of stealing a wallet containing the meagre amount from a construction site.
In their eagerness to deliver ‘instant justice’, they tied him to a tree and started beating him. His ordeal continued for more than an hour as they tonsured his head, blackened his face and moved him around half-naked in front of villagers, including his parents.
His mother’s plea of handing him over to police did not move the tormentors.
Police started an investigation on its own after the footage of the incident was shown in a local television. “As nobody had given a complaint, we brought the boy to our police station and lodged a case on the basis of his oral report,” Prasanta Majhi, inspector in charge of Badachana police station, said.