In a shocking incident, a Dalit was thrashed and his hair and moustache partly clipped by his employer in Thrissur, 75 km north of Kochi.
His crime: he couldn’t attend duty for two days due to ill health.
K. Subramanyan, 42, a driver with a private English medium school, was hospitalised on Saturday morning.
Station house officer of Guruvayur K. Abhilash, who took proprietor John Rafi, 43, and his aides into custody, confirmed the crime.
When Rafi summoned Subramanyan on Saturday night, the driver never expected such treatment from his employer.
“My hands and legs were tied after I reached his house. He started beating me with a cane,” Subramanyan, now admitted in a hospital, told HT.
“Later, he ordered two of his aides to bring a pair of scissors and my hair and moustache were cut partly. I begged him not to do it but he didn’t listen.”
“While hitting me, he kept on insulting my caste and abused me badly,” he added.
Subramanyan was initially reluctant to lodge a complaint with the police, fearing a reprisal from his employer.
A police official said Subramanyan hadn’t reported for work at the Vanivilasom School for two days after he was taken ill.
The proprietor, a local toughie, then decided to “discipline” him.
A relative of the accused claimed the driver was punished for “drink driving”.
“We are investigating the case thoroughly. We are also looking into some of the earlier complaints against the proprietor,” the SHO said.
Local MLA M. Murali and others have condemned the incident.