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

Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais.

Taking cognisance of the physical abuse of a domestic helper in Ranchi and the eviction of around 50 Dalit families from their homes in Palamu district, Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais slammed the police for “inaction” and sent the DGP to an office within two days, asked to submit the report.

A press release issued by the Governor’s House said: “Seema Patra, wife of a former IAS officer, physically abused her domestic help in Ashok Nagar, Ranchi, and why the DGP did not take action against the accused. This is a serious problem… In the Palamu district of the Pandu police station area, 50 Dalits were thrown out of their homes by a certain community. This is worrisome.”

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

According to the FIR, complainant Vivek Anand Baskey, a government employee, received a message from Seema’s son Ayushmann, detailing the ongoing physical violence against the domestic help in the house. “Since she was a tribal and me too, Ayushmann thought I would be able to save her. His mother was planning to take Sunita, who was not feeling well and had defecated and urinated in her dress, to take her to Varanasi to drop her at some ashram,” the FIR reads. The baskey had known the family since 2002.

The FIR states that Ayushmann also showed pictures of the domestic helper who had injury marks. Seema allegedly admitted her son to a psychiatric center after he started complaining of physical torture by the domestic help, the FIR reads. “With the help of the police, the son was taken to a psychiatric hospital where he shouted at his mother: ‘You made her [household help] drink your urine. What kind of dehumanizing person you are, it says.

The domestic help, who hails from Gumla, had joined Patra as a domestic help about 10 years ago. Baskey also met the Ranchi Deputy Commissioner and SSP, urging that Ayushmann’s medical condition be examined independently.

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

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