On August 25, 2022 a 25 year old tribal youth identified as Ankush Gorelal Mavaskar, a resident of Dhulghat Railway, was tortured by forest staff when he had gone for fishing in a dam in Wan forest area under Akot wildlife division of Melghat Tiger Reserve.
Ankush alleged that some 7-8 forest employees beat him up and burnt him with a hot iron rod. He somehow managed to escape from the clutches of the forest personnel in an injured condition and returned to his village. He was later admitted to the sub-district hospital at Dharni.
Photos shared in social media show that Ankush Gorelal Mavaskar suffered injuries at multiple places of his body due to alleged branding with hot iron rods by the forest guards.
The Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) has sought the immediate intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the incident of barbaric torture of the tribal youth.
“The barbaric branding of tribals with hot iron rod cannot have any place in civilized society. The barbaric/inhuman torture by the forest guards is gross human rights violation by the State actors”, the IRAC communication to the NHRC stated.
IRAC has demanded a judicial inquiry, arrest and exemplary punishment of the accused forest staff under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989; and compensation to the victim(s).