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Dalit woman sarpanch paraded naked

Indira in MP refused to give money from village fund to local goons.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2006 16:20 IST

A Dalit woman village head was beaten, stripped and paraded naked through her village in Madhya Pradesh by gun-wielding local goons after she refused to give them money from the village fund.

According to reports, six men attacked the woman sarpanch, Indira Kushwaha, 45, on June 17 in Mahoikala village of Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh after she refused to give them Rs 50,000 from the village development fund. The men thereafter attacked her sons.

The police, who were supposed to protect her, reportedly refused to help. Kushwaha then sought the help of Samajwadi Party legislator Vijay Bahadur Singh Bundela to register a police complaint four days after the incident. The MLA took her to the district collector.

Indira told reporters at Chhatarpur on Thursday, "They came to my house, thrashed me black and blue and paraded me naked through the whole village at gunpoint."

"Local goons Lakhan Shukla and Santosh Shukla had been harassing me for the last six months for money. They used to say that I had been given money for the village development since I was the sarpanch. They also said the money should be given to them because I, being a Dalit, would not know how to spend it."

"On the evening of June 17, when I turned down their demand, the two, armed with rifles, came to my hut, dragged me and my children out and started beating me. Lakhan and his men then stripped me and paraded me naked in the village," she alleged.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said action would be taken against those involved. He said an inquiry had been initiated.

Meanwhile, National Commission for Women chairperson Girija Vyas on Thursday asked the state government to conduct a probe into the incident and submit a report within a week, official sources said.