Two Dalit teenagers were assaulted, tied with ropes and then dragged for several meters by a group of villagers in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district on charges of stealing a mobile phone kept in a vehicle, police said Monday.
Ajai Nat (15) and Ravishankar Raidas (14), residents of Lachminia village, some 80 km from Lucknow, were accused of stealing a mobile phone on Sunday evening from the truck of Balbir Singh, who has a transport business in the village.
When Singh failed to recover the mobile from them, he called three of his associates, and together they beat up the teenagers with wooden sticks and also shaved their heads. Thereafter, both the teenagers were tied with ropes and dragged for several meters in the village.
"We came to know about the incident on Sunday night when the father of one of the Dalit boys approached us. We have registered a case against the four people who assaulted them," Senior Sub-inspector Subhash Singh told reporters Monday in Rae Bareli.
"The case is serious in nature. Of the four booked for assaulting the Dalits, we have arrested three. Balbir is still absconding. Efforts are on to nab him," he added.