Betul- In Madhya Pradesh, a disturbing trend of incidents involving tribal communities continues to unfold. Despite previous high-profile cases such as the Seedhi urination incident and the Nemawar murder case, recent events have once again cast a dark shadow over the state.
The emergence of a video depicting the brutal beating of a tribal youth in Betul district is another glaring example of the persistent violence faced by indigenous populations. Lasting 2 minutes and 42 seconds, the footage captures the harrowing ordeal of a young man subjected to merciless assault, further exacerbated by humiliating demands.
This latest incident unfolded on Saturday night, with the video surfacing the following day, prompting widespread outrage. In response, authorities have taken action by registering a case under the Atrocity Act and other relevant sections at Betul Kotwali police station.
The individual identified as Chanchal Rajput, reportedly a co-coordinator of the Narmadapuram division of Bajrang Dal, stands accused of brutally assaulting the youth depicted in the video. The victim, identified as Raj Uike, is employed as a DJ, and the altercation is believed to have stemmed from a pre-existing dispute between the DJ owner and Chanchal Rajput. As of the latest update, no arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
Superintendent of Police Siddharth Chaudhary, speaking to The Mooknayak, confirmed that the victim, Raj Uike, was located following the circulation of the video. According to Chaudhary, the victim indicated that the assault was a result of the ongoing dispute between the DJ owner and Chanchal Rajput. While the victim was able to identify Chanchal Rajput, the other three individuals involved remain unidentified. Police have initiated legal proceedings against the named suspect and three other unidentified individuals, charging them with atrocity and assault offenses.
Former Chief Minister Kamal Nath has directed criticism towards the BJP and the government, denouncing the incident as indicative of the state's troubling trend of tribal atrocities. Taking to his social media platform, Kamal Nath underscored Madhya Pradesh's unfortunate status as the leading state in tribal atrocities nationwide, attributing this grim reality to what he perceives as the BJP government's anti-tribal stance. He has urged the Chief Minister to take stringent action in response to the incident.
State Congress President Jitu Patwari echoed similar sentiments, sharing the video of the assault on social media and demanding swift investigation and action. Patwari emphasized the need for immediate intervention, cautioning against undermining faith in justice due to unchecked oppression. He urged authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and take decisive measures to address the situation.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data indicates the severity of the issue, revealing a concerning rise in reported cases of atrocities against tribals in Madhya Pradesh. With 2,979 reported cases in 2022 alone, marking a 13 percent increase from the previous year, the state has consistently topped the charts in tribal atrocities for the past three years. Rajasthan and Maharashtra follow closely behind, highlighting the pressing need for concerted efforts to address and combat this alarming trend.