A 20-year-old was beaten with sticks, abused and tonsured for allegedly stealing an iPhone from filmmaker and Telugu Bigg Boss participant Nutan Naidu's house. Seven people, including the filmmaker's wife, have been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including attempt to murder over the incident, the police said.
CCTV footage accessed from the house shows the man seated on the ground while seven others around him seem to be confronting the man. He is then beaten with sticks even as he falls at the feet of a woman requesting mercy. He is subsequently forcibly tonsured.
The man, who belongs to Scheduled Caste community, later reported the matter to the police following which a case was filed against seven people, including Priya Madhuri, who is wife of Nutan Naidu. The accused have been charged with attempt to murder and also under the SC/ST Act.
The 20-year-old had worked at the house of the filmmaker from February to August 1. On August 27, he was summoned and accused of stealing Priya Madhuri's iPhone, a charge he denied. He was again called to the house the following day and detained for hours together during which he was beaten with sticks and rods and had his head forcibly tonsured. He was later let off with a warning not to report the incident.
Last month, a Dalit man was beaten and his head and moustache shaved allegedly by two policemen acting on behalf of an MLA of the state's ruling YSR Congress Party. The incident, tagged the "return of jungle raj" by Opposition parties, has triggered protests and led to the suspension and arrest of the accused policemen - one sub-inspector and two constables.
Against growing incidents of atrocities against backward castes in the state, Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy had recently warned of stringent action against anyone indulging in inhumane, violent, abusive and illegal acts against the community. Even politicians or those belonging to influential families will not be spared, Mr Reddy had promised.