A Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death by police on the festival of Holi after a chowkidar took exception to being sprinkled with colour and informed the local police station. This incident happened in the range of Satgawan Police Station in Koderama district of Jharkhand. The blood clot injuries on the victim Pradeep Chaudhary’s body are indicators of the heavy beating that he received. This incident was reported by Hindi media outlets such as Dainik Bhaskar, Prabhat Khabar etc. The victim was 55 years of age and used to graze cattle as a profession. He is survived by his wife and six kids.

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In the video below, Jashna Devi, the wife of the victim narrates how the incident happened.

Jashna Devi claims that there was an altercation with a chowkidar when members of the Dalit Samaj were playing Holi and some colour was sprinkled on the chowkidar. The chowkidar took offence to being sprinkled with colour and contacted the local police station. When the police arrived, most of the people scattered away but the victim did not in time. He was first beaten up by the police on the spot and he fell down and hit his head which led to him losing consciousness. According to Jashna Devi, the police took him to the hospital, got him treated, took him back to the police station and thrashed him again.

A report by a website called PalPalIndia also states that Jashna Devi went to the police station the same evening that her husband was arrested to request the police-incharge to let him go. She was accompanied by her relative Ashwini Chaudhary. However, according to Jashna Devi, the police used a caste-based slur against them and treated them roughly and asked them to go away. The next day, the victim came home on a relative’s motorbike. However, his condition kept deteriorating and he was first taken to the local Satgawan hospital and then to the Koderma district hospital. Later, when he was being shifted to Ranchi hospital, he succumbed to his injuries on the way.

Prabhat Khabar has reported that Jashna Devi tried approaching the nearest SC/ST police station and submitted an application demanding an enquiry into the death of her husband. However, the police refused accept her application. The SP on the other hand has reportedly stated that there will be an enquiry into this incident.

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