Two Dalits were allegedly thrashed by a village chief for stealing potatoes from a field in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr.
"We got the information about the incident on January 10. Prem Jat, Meenu and Rakesh allegedly stole a sack of potatoes from a field belonging to a man called Rinku. Meenu and Rakesh belong to a scheduled caste. A Panchayat meeting was held where the two were slapped," Senior Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar Singh told ANI.
However, Meenu and Rakesh told police that the complaint was not lodged by them but by a man who wants to become the next village head.
"During the investigation, Meenu Kumar said he did not file the complaint but a person from his village who is contesting Panchayat elections. They said that they had come to a settlement now on the matter. However, we have ordered an investigation," Mr Singh said.
Meenu and Rakesh, however, alleged that they were beaten up badly. They claimed that they did not steal potatoes and that the theft was committed by Prem.
"Prem stole the potatoes. A village chief told Prem to confess that we were also part of the theft. We are innocent but the villagers did not listen to us," they said.
"They thrashed us badly and made us squat like hens and hold our ears. They also recorded the whole incident and made it viral. Two persons - Kalu Pradhan and Gabbar, the present village head, beat us up. We were also told to pay Rs 3000 as fine," they added.
The two also alleged that the police did not take any action.