Police in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh near the Karnataka border arrested a village sarpanch and two of his associates after a video clip of them brutally beating a woman went viral on social media.
The incident, which took place at Jallipalli village of Kuderu block on January 29, came to light only on Thursday after the police arrested village sarpanch Mekala Nagaraju, his follower Chandrasekhar and another person following a complaint by the victim Sudha (40) and her brother.
The video clip shows Nagaraju and the two men thrashing the woman who is a widow, dragging her by her hair, kicking her on the face and stomach and punching her on the head and face even as she tried to resist.
Nagaraju and Sudha belong to the ruling Telugu Desam Party and are members of the local Janmabhoomi committee, which is supposed to look after the developmental activities of the village.
According to Kuderu police sub-inspector V Raju, Sudha had objected to installation of a drinking water tank in front of her house which was supposed to be located at the sarpanch’s residence.
“She picked up an argument with the sarpanch over the relocation of the water tank. An enraged Nagaraju started beating her up and the others joined him,” he said.
The police booked Nagaraju and two others under Sections 354 (assault on woman with intention to outrage her modesty) and 355 (assault to dishonour a person) and 332 (hurting a person without provocation) of the Indian Penal Code. They were initially released on bail but were taken back into custody.