Jharkhand incidents: Governor seeks report from DGP on help’s abuse, eviction of Dalits

Taking cognisance of physical abuse of a domestic help in Ranchi and eviction of around 50 Dalit families out of their homes in Palamu district, Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais has asked the DGP to submit a report within two days, while rebuking the police for “inaction”.

A press release issued by the Governor House stated: “Seema Patra, wife of a former IAS officer, physically abused her domestic help in Ashok Nagar in Ranchi and why the DGP has not acted against the accused. It is a grave problem…In Palamu district, under Pandu Police Station, a particular community drove 50 Dalits out of their homes. It is worrisome.”

Seema, BJP’s national executive member in Jharkhand and wife of a retired IAS officer, was booked after a video of the domestic help, Sunita, narrating her ordeal, went viral on social media. An FIR was registered against Seema under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, and under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (grievous hurt), 346 (wrongful confinement), 374(unlawful compulsory labour) at Argora police station.

According to the FIR, complainant Vivek Anand Baskey, a government employee, received a message from Seema’s son Ayushman, detailing the physical violence going on against the domestic help in the house. “Since she was a tribal and so am I, Ayushman thought I would be able to rescue her. His mother was planning to take Sunita, who was not in good health and had defecated and urinated in her dress, to Varanasi to leave her at some ashram,” the FIR reads. Baskey knew the family from 2002.

The FIR stated that Ayushman also showed pictures of the domestic help with bruises. Seema allegedly got her son admitted to a psychiatric centre when he started complaining about the physical torture of the domestic help, reads the FIR. “With the help of the police, the son was taken to a psychiatric hospital where he shouted at his mother: ‘You made her [domestic help] drink her own urine. What kind of inhuman person you are’,” it says.

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The domestic help who come from Gumla joined Patras as domestic help about 10 years ago. Baskey also met Ranchi Deputy Commissioner and SSP, urging that Ayushman’s medical condition be examined independently.

In Palamu district, 50 Dalit families that were living in a village for four decades were forcibly driven out. An FIR has been registered against 12 people, belonging to Muslim community. Dalit families belong to the “Mushar” caste.

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