He was made to shave off his head, forced to carry a load of footwear and wash the feet of village elders and drink the dirty water for a fortnight – all for the so-called sin of his father, an accused in a murder.
A 13-year-old boy from Sagar district’s Hanota village, around 170km from Bhopal, has been spending his days in abject humiliation and torture after the whole village turned on him to make him pay for his father’s alleged crime. To make matters worse, police turned a blind eye on his plea for help and beat him up with shoes.
The incident came to light after a video surfaced in which the boy is seen standing outside the office of additional superintendent of police DR Veniwar in Sagar city narrating his story.
In the clip, a copy of which is in possession of HT, the minor claims: "When I went to the local police station, I was slapped and policemen struck me with their shoes."
The boy was not identified, neither was it clear when his ordeal began.
The boy’s troubles started when fellow villagers asked him to atone for his father's ‘sin’. He was first made to shave off his head and then sent to Allahabad to take a dip in the Ganga. When he returned, he was forced to take a round of 12 villages carrying the footwear of the local people on his head.
He was then made to wash their feet and drink the dirty water.
When contacted, Nariaoli SP Sachin Atulkar at first denied the allegation, but when informed about the video he said he would look into the matter.
"If there is any such thing happening, we will certainly take action," Atulkar said.