Ahmedabad, Jan 3: A Dalit man was allegedly beaten up and forced to lick shoes by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in the lock-up. The incident took place in Amraiwadi on December 29. An FIR was lodged on Tuesday against a police constable under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act after members of Dalit community held protests outside the police station. However, the DCP, who was not booked in the case, refuted the allegations.

Harshad Jadav was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police constable and taken to Amraiwadi police station. “On December 29 morning, I had gone outside my house after hearing noise. There were many policemen and a crowd had gathered. I saw a man standing near me and asked about the matter. He suddenly slapped me. I also pushed him. He then took a stick and started beating me up, saying that he is a policeman. My wife, who came to help me, was also beaten,” Jadav told The Indian Express.

“Sometime in the afternoon DCP Himkar Singh arrived and called me. He said how dare I hit a policeman and then asked my ‘jaat’ (caste). A police officer from behind said that I was a Dalit, and that made the DCP angry. He asked me to fall at the feet of the constable whom I had pushed, and apologise. I did that. After that he asked me to lick the constable’s shoes and apologise,” the 38-year-old said.

Jadhav, an English Literature graduate, said he wanted to commit suicide after the humiliation he faced in the police lock-up. He spoke about the incident to his father who approached Dalit leaders. Jadhav then filed a police complaint. However, DCP Himkar Singh rubbished the charges levelled against him. “The incident took place on December 29. He was taken to court and then released on the same day. I do not know what happened between December 30 and January 1,” he said.

Convener of Gujarat Dalit Sangathan Ashok Samrat said that they had spoken to Ahmedabad Police Commissioner A K Singh and asked him to look into the matter. “Certain allegations have been made and we have taken cognizance of it. The matter is under investigation. To be fair to all, the case will be investigated by the Crime Branch so that there is no chance of any bias,” the police commissioner assured.