Third-degree torture given to seven tribal villagers by forest guards on the suspicion of being involved in poaching in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra

IRAC has moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the third-degree torture given to seven tribal villagers namely Aakash Chandekar, Ishwar Ramteke, Hanuman Asutkar, Sandeep Asutkar, Sandeep Nehare, Mangesh Asutkar and Rakesh Sao by forest guards on the suspicion of being involved in poaching of spotted deer in Durgapur in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra on 24-25 November 2021.

On 26 November, the Durgapur police registered a case against foresters attached to Chandrapur forest range on the basis of a complaint filed by the victims who belong to Chicholi village.

According to the complaint, a team of around nine foresters picked up four tribal villagers namely Aakash Chandekar, Ishwar Ramteke, Hanuman Asutkar and Sandeep Asutkar on 24 November 2021 from Chicholi village on the suspicion of being involved in poaching of spotted deer with the help of electrified wire. These four tribal villagers were taken to the range office where they were brutally beaten up with plastic baton and were given electric shocks with the help of battery by forest guards Gulab Yadav and Vijay Bhimanwar and their colleagues. Of them, Aakash Chandekar was made to strip and the foresters threatened him to give shock to his private parts with a live wire. After torture the four tribal victims were allowed to return home in the same evening, only to be summoned next day (morning of 25 November) and again subjected to similar inhuman torture. This time, three more tribal villagers identified as Sandeep Nehare, Mangesh Asutkar and Rakesh Sao were picked up on similar charges and all were beaten and subjected to electric shocks in custody allegedly by forest guards Gulab Yadav and Vijay Bhimanwar and their colleagues. The branding of tribals as poachers and subjecting them to third degree torture is a form of criminalization of the tribals. Torture of tribals is a caste violence and constitutes an “atrocity” under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Image source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/7-poaching-suspect-tribals-allege-torture/articleshow/87938291.cms

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