Dalit youth dies after alleged police assault for not wearing face mask

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AMARAVATI — Beaten up allegedly by a policeman with lathi for not wearing a face mask, a Dalit youth succumbed to his injuries in Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam district on Wednesday.

Yaricharla Kiran, who was injured in a July 19 incident, died while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Guntur. Kiran had questioned the police’s attitude and reminded them about the rules, when they took him into custody and whisked him away in a police jeep.

According to reports, Kiran was a private employee in Hyderabad, who had come to his home town due to the lockdown. He was allegedly beaten up again while in the jeep and to escape that he jumped off the vehicle, sustaining head injuries.

His family alleged that the police hit him on his head, resulting in the injury and ultimately death. Tension prevailed in Thomaspeta area of Chirala following the youth’s death. Police deployed additional forces to prevent any untoward incident.

Kiran, who was going on a motorbike with a friend, was stopped by police near Kottapeta checkpost, for not wearing the mask. The policemen, including sub-inspector of II-Town police station Vijay Kumar allegedly manhandled him.

Prakasam Superintendent of Police, Siddharth Kaushal said an inquiry would be conducted by the officials of a neighhbouring district into the incident.

He said a case was already booked against the sub-inspector on a complaint by the youth’s father.

Denying allegations against the police, the SP said the youth were stopped as they were allegedly in an inebriated condition. He said Kiran jumped off the vehicle when he was being taken to hospital for an alcohol test.

Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) alleged that the Dalit youth was killed by the police for not wearing the mask. TDP leader Nara Lokesh said Dalits were being targeted the YSR Congress Party regime.

— IANS

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