The Dalit couple, who were manhandled by police and removed from a plot of government land allotted for a college in Guna city, protested and drank pesticide on Tuesday.
The Dalit couple, who were manhandled by police and removed from a plot of government land allotted for a college in Guna city, protested and drank pesticide on Tuesday.

The Guna incident, in which a Dalit couple consumed poison after they were allegedly manhandled by the police during an anti-encroachment drive shook the internet on Tuesday. The Dalit couple, residents of Guna city faced the brutality of the police in an anti-encroachment drive carried out by police officials. As per the officials, the couple was using a plot of a government land allotted for a college."The (farm) land was reserved for a government model college. Rajkumar Ahirwar (38) and his wife Savitri (35) were working on the land. Gabbu Pardi, who had encroached on the land, had given them work," said district collector S Vishwanathan.

https://twitter.com/RahulGandhi/status/1283611129730588672

The officials asked the couple to vacate the land to which they responded that they will do so within a day or two. Citing that they are under heavy debt because of this land, the couple drank pesticide at the behest of those who had encroached on the land. The two also refused to go to the hospital so the police had to use force to take them to hospital, the collector claimed.

The brutality of the police came to fore when a video showing few cops beating the couple with batons and the couple be on the receiving end, surfaced online. Police officials had to face the wrath of the netizens as well as politicians, who left no stone unturned in raising the matter.

Opposition Congress slammed the use of force and demanded action against those responsible for the incident.

"A Dalit couple was mercilessly beaten up by the cops.

what kind of jungle raj is this?" tweeted former chief minister Kamal Nath.

"If it was related to government land, it (the issue) can be legally resolved...but beating him, his wife and a kid is not justified....stern action should be taken against those responsible for it," the Congress leader said.

Concerning the seriousness of the case, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan instructed to remove the collector and SP of Guna with immediate effect. Collector S Vishwanathan and SP Tarun Nayak were transferred on Thursday noting the seriousness of the incident.

The Chief Minister has clarified that vandalism of any kind will not be tolerated. "A high-level inquiry was ordered in the case and action will be taken against whoever is guilty in this incident," said the CM.

The case led also to a slugfest between the BJP and the Opposition parties.

The BJP leaders have said the senior officials have been removed after the incident but Congress is saying that mere transferring officers will be of no use.

BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia has said the senior officials of the government have been removed in the wake of Guna incident.

Opposition Congress in the BJP- ruled Madhya Pradesh on Thursday formed a seven-member committee to probe the alleged beating of a Dalit couple in Guna town of the state by the police, a party leader said.

State Congress president Kamal Nath constituted this panel to investigate the incident, Nath's media coordinator, Narendra Singh Saluja said.

On Thursday, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has asked the Madhya Pradesh police to ensure "swift and fair" investigation into the incident where a couple was assaulted by the police after they consumed pesticide to protest their removal from a government plot.

Noting that the incident has drawn widespread outrage and calls for action, the National Commission for Women said it is seriously concerned about the incident.

(With input from agencies)

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