TRIBALS of village Dabri in the Naxal-hit south Baihar in Balaghat have not immersed the idol of goddess Durga even four days after Dussehra to protest against the policemen who, in an inebriated condition, allegedly beat up a dozen tribals including women.
The tribals have declared that they would immerse the idol only after the guilty cops were put behind bars. Instead of immersing the idol, the tribals have continued their ritual worship and are praying to the goddess to punish the policemen. The police are making a bid to get the idol immersed, report reaching the divisional headquarters said.
GGP MLA from Paraswada, Balaghat Darbu Singh Uike alleged that on the night before Dussehra a sub-inspector Jitendra Verma along with cops of Lanji police station went to Dabri in an inebriated state and demanded that they wanted to see the women dancing instead of men near the Durga pandal. When the tribals didn’t heed their demand, the cops brutally beat up the tribals including some women.
The policemen called the tribals Naxalites, Uike said. Can Naxals roam about freely in the open and celebrate Durga festival, he asked.
Uike said that the high-ranking police officials were informed about the incident and the SI was line attached. However, he said that the punishment to the SI wasn’t sufficient, as some of the tribal women including Sukwati and Tuja Bai have sustained head injuries.
When contacted, Balaghat DIG G Janardhan said ADM and Additional SP Tilak Singh on Friday had gone to probe the incident again. After the incident, a Sub-Divisional Officer of Police had been sent to the area, and the SI was line attached, he said. In the department inquiry if we find that SI Verma had ill-treated and abused the tribals, we will take stern action against him, he assured.
About SI’s remark that he wanted to see the tribal women’s dance instead of men, he said the allegation was politically motivated. He said that the line attached SI was investigating a case against the Dabri Woman Sarpanch whose husband was politicising the issue, he said. On the tribals injured in the incident, the DIG said that the two policemen also sustained injuries after they were attacked by some tribals.