A Dalit couple in Madhya Pradesh's Guna district drank pesticide in a suicide attempt in front of the police on Tuesday after being forced to watch as their crops were run over by a JCB by officials from the revenue department.
In a disturbing footage of the event that has gone viral, MP police is seen brutally assaulting the couple while dragging them into an ambulance.
The couple - Ram Kumar Ahirwar (38) and Savitri Devi (35), are in a hospital and in stable condition, NDTV reported.
According to the government, in 2018 20 bighas (around 5.5 acres) of this land had been cleared for making a college. But the couple has claimed that they had been farming there for 4 years and were not made aware of any such development.
We don't know whose land it is. We've been farming on it for a long time. When our standing crop has been destroyed, we don't have other option, but to kill ourselves.
- Savitri Devi
According to reports, a team from the state revenue department, accompanied by cops, visited the site on Tuesday to evict the couple. The couple attempted to kill themselves after realising the prospect of cops and officials bulldozing their crops. In response to this , the cop brutally assaulted them
Meanwhile, Ram Ahirwar and Saviriti Devi have been charged by the police. The cops who assaulted them have been given a clean chit.
This has caused some serious outrage online.
My heart breaks when i see such visuals!! @GunaPolice in this barbaric act you just breached the Law. You booked the farmer couple n also charged em with suicide attempt !@CollectorGuna hope for a fair investigation on the cops & prompt action..Now, who is taking law in hands? https://t.co/FQvNLyv0tY— Being Indian (@BeingIn81422005) July 15, 2020
They are farmers; their survival depends on it. When you snatch away the only source of livelihood right in front of their eyes and brutally exploit them just because they are poor, then this is not reaching towards Jungle Raj, it is Jungle Raj! https://t.co/DWnONypxPl— Jhanvi Sonakia (@JhanviSonakia) July 15, 2020
Shame MP Police Shame!!— Indrajeet C Nikam (@icnikam) July 15, 2020
We don't PAY you to beat and KILL my citizens.
Is the government still busy?
Oh wait... sorry... those were poor people. My bad.
I can't. My heart aches to see this. The world is not a good place. The system is sucking the marrow of the impoverished. I can't even imagine the grief and helplessness these children are going through. https://t.co/9ta313MMvx— Ferb (@jirakodhulo) July 15, 2020
This photo is going to haunt humanity for years.— Munesh Meena (@drmmeena83) July 15, 2020
The baby trying to wake up her mother, when she consumed poison due to continous harassment by state authorties and government.
Sad😓#DalitLivesMatter #शिवराज_सिंह_इस्तीफा_दो pic.twitter.com/UFYi8s7Vgx
We are so quick to get enraged about police brutality in foreign countries but we often forget or barely get enraged about police brutality in our own country. How is this right in any sense? 😑😪#DalitLivesMatter https://t.co/mxNh6Ja29p— ಮಲ್ಲಿಕಾರ್ಜುನ್ ಬಿ (Mallikarjun B) (@arjuna04) July 15, 2020
CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has since ordered the removal of the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police. A high-level inquiry has also been ordered.