The victim, accused of stealing money from a friend’s house, reportedly tries to end life
The Ammapettai police have begun a probe into the brutal assault of a youth by a group of persons hailing from his community, some of whom are said to be his friends. The youth was thrashed after being accused of stealing money from a friend’s house.
As a video clip of the blindfolded youth being attacked by a few persons went viral on social media, triggering outrage, the victim reportedly attempted to end his life. He was later admitted to the Thanjavur Medical College Hospital.
Rahul, 22, a labourer of Poondi near Ammapettai, and his friends used to transport sand from watercourses in the Ammapettai region. A sum of ₹30,000 was reported missing from the house of one of his friends, Lakshmanan of Konur, on February 1.
Mr. Lakshmanan and his friends suspected that Mr. Rahul, who used to frequent the former’s house, had stolen the money, and questioned him about it. While doing so, they blindfolded him with a piece of cloth and attacked him with wooden logs, despite his repeated pleas to be let off. In the video clip circulated on social media platforms, the victim is held against a tree and pinned to the ground while being beaten up repeatedly.
The incident was apparently recorded on a mobile phone by a friend of Mr. Lakshmanan. On Wednesday, Mr. Rahul reportedly attempted to end his life, and was rushed to the Thanjavur Medical College Hospital, where he is convalescing.
Meanwhile, on information from the Medical College Hospital police about the suicide attempt, the Ammapettai police obtained a written complaint from Mr. Rahul at the hospital. They are said to be interrogating Mr. Lakshmanan’s friends Vikki, Rajadurai, Parthiban and Sarath of Konur.
Since Mr. Rahul is a Dalit, the Ammapettai police have registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC, read with Section 3 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and Sections 147, 148, 294(b), 373 and 374 of the IPC, against six persons, including Mr. Lakshmanan, his father Karnan and two non-Dalits.
Talking to the media at the hospital on Thursday, Mr. Rahul said that when he and his family members approached the police to file a complaint on the day of the attack, the police sent them back after receiving a written statement. He said he was beaten up by Mr. Lakshmanan and others when he sought money from Mr. Lakshmanan’s father for the work he had done.
“I was denigrated by Mr. Lakshmanan’s father, who mentioned my caste,” Mr. Rahul said, adding that he decided to end his life on coming to know that the video clip had gone viral.
(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050).