Sarpanch among 4 booked for beating up, forcing 4 boys to walk 4km for stealing ₹300 in Sangrur
Four boys, aged 11 to 13 years, were allegedly beaten up and paraded 4km with their hands tied behind their backs after they stole ₹300 from a tomb (samadh) at Banbhori village in Dhuri sub-division of Punjab’s Sangrur district. The boys were punished by the sarpanch and panchayat members of Bhasaur village. Their families were fined ₹5,000.
The incident took place on March 7, but came to light on Sunday when the family members of the boys submitted a complaint to Sangrur senior superintendent of police (SSP) and sent a letter to the state commission for protection of child rights.
According to the complaint, the boys of Bhasaur village went to Banbhori village and stole the ₹300 from a tomb located in a field. The residents of the village caught them and called the sarpanch and panchayat members of Bhasaur and handed over the boys to them. The sarpanch and others allegedly forced them to walk in front of their motorcycles.
The boys belong to Dalit families. Gurmeet Singh, the father of one of the boys, said: “One of them has suffered a fracture on his wrist when he was beaten up. I have filed an application with the police and child rights commission. We want justice and punishment for the accused.”
Sarpanch Gurnam Singh said that the boys were involved in theft for the past few months and the panchayat just wanted to teach them a lesson. “Our rivals have made a mountain out of a molehill. When we reached Banbhori village, their hands were already tied with a rope. We asked them to walk and imposed a fine to teach them a lesson. We did not assault anyone,” the sarpanch said.
Dhuri Sadar police station in-charge Deepinderpal Singh said that the police had booked four men, including sarpanch Gurnam Singh. A case was registered under Sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Act.