A 10-year-old boy was assaulted, stripped naked, chained and then dragged for several metres by a group of shopkeepers in an Uttar Pradesh village on charges of stealing Rs.20, police said on Tuesday.
The inhumane treatment was meted out to Sainki, a resident of Dayanand Sagar village in Muzaffarnagar district, about 350 km from state capital Lucknow, police said.
According to police, Sainki went to buy some vegetables at a shop Monday evening. However, after noticing the rush at the shop he changed his mind. As he was about to leave the shop, its owner held Sainki by his collar and accused him of stealing Rs.20.
Sainki asked the shopkeeper to frisk him. Instead, the owner called his fellow vendors, who started beating the 10-year-old. Later, the shopkeepers forcibly removed Sainki's clothes and dragged him for several metres by putting a chain around his neck.
When contacted, police inspector Brijpal Jakhar told IANS: "We only learned today that such an incident has taken place. We have initiated an enquiry into the case."
"The issue is serious and shocking. Stern action will be taken against all those shopkeepers involved in the inhuman act," Jakhar said.
The police want to interrogate the four shop owners who were involved in the incident but are unable to find them.