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Madhya Pradesh: Police Allegedly Beat Adivasi Man to Death for Breaking Lockdown

Sixty-five-year-old Tibu Meda and his son-in-law had gone out to buy essentials.

Bhopal: Unable to get access to essential items during the national lockdown despite the Centre’s assurances, an early morning drive with his son-in-law proved deadly for 65-year-old Adivasi man in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district on Saturday.

Tibu Meda, a resident of Gothaniya in Maheshwar tehsil of Khargone district, and his son-in-law were allegedly beaten up by the police for violating lockdown rules. The incident took place in Gujari village in Dhamnod, Dhar district, when Tibu went out to buy essential items, his son-in­-law Sanjay claimed. Sanjay was with him when the police lathi-charge occurred.

“As we were standing in front of a shop to buy ration, the police with no warning began to chase and beat us,” alleged Sanjay in a video released on social media.

Sanjay was able to escape with injuries below his waist, but Tibu Meda was reportedly chased and brutally beaten by the police, leading to his death.

Dharampuri MLA Panchilal Meda has promised to take strict action against the policemen involved in the incident.

The Dhar district police and administration refused to comment when contacted by The Wire.

The Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan accused district administration of covering up the incident and demanded that the post-mortem should be carried out by the medical board of the district administration.

“In accordance with the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, the victims’ family must be immediately given an interim relief and a proper enquiry should be taken in the incident,” Madhuri Krishnaswamy of the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan said.

Also read: Migrant Workers Beaten, Stuffed Into Container Trucks by Police at Gujarat-Maharashtra Border

After the Central government announced a three-week lockdown starting from March 25, the Madhya Pradesh government directed ensure the transportation of food products like grains, fruits and vegetables. Instructions have been issued by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, telling officers to make the public doesn’t face any trouble during the lockdown. The provision of food grains and food supply to the people should be smooth, he said.

The principal secretary, food and civil supplies, Shivshekhar Shukla said that the helpline number 18002332797 is active for this, and more than 14,000 phone calls have been received during the last week. Chouhan has instructed officials to ensure that the poor get fair price ration free of cost for the next three months.