On Sunday, the Visakhapatnam City Police Commissioner A Ravi Shankar IPS suspended three cops for alleged torture and harassment of a 24-year-old Dalit man. This incident was reported at the Padmanabham Police Station in the district, where a sub-inspector and two constables reportedly broke the victim’s femur by kicking him. The victim, Bandevarapu Papu, complained against the cops, and a case was registered under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
As per the victim’s statement to the police, he and his friend, Gali Yernibabu, were involved in a rooster theft in his village in September. Despite the village elders settling the matter on 29 September, the rooster’s owner, Rajababu, complained at the Padmanabham PS, upon which the two men were summoned. On 1 October, Papu, Yernibabu, and Papu’s relative, P Ganesh, appeared at the PS.
While the two accused of the rooster theft were waiting, constables K Srinivasa Rao and K Satish inflicted castist slurs and foul language on them. Furthermore, Srinivasa Rao kicked Papu’s right leg, which was injured from a road accident in January, and broke his femur. Hearing Papu’s cry of pain, his relatives rushed inside the PS and attempted to catch the constables, who fled the scene in fear.
Later, the victim was shifted to a government hospital in Vizianagaram, where the doctors informed the relatives that Papu needed surgery. On the complaint of the Dalit man, the Visakhapatnam City Police Commissioner suspended the two constables and Padmanabham PS SI R Malleswara Rao for inflicting harassment and torture. The victim’s relatives also complained that the unruly cops demanded a bribe of Rs 5,000 to clear Papu’s name from the unregistered rooster theft case.
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