India: Dalit rights defenders arrested, beatenEvent
- Initial Date
- Oct 5, 2022
- Event Description
About the Human Rights Defender: Mr. Kartik Mukhi, Mr. Rohit Mukhi and Mr. Krishna Mukhi are Dalit human rights defenders based in the Narwa hills in Jadugoda, East Singhbhum district. All three brothers are members of Bhim Army, an organisation fighting for the rights of lower caste groups and have been working to raise awareness on human rights and caste atrocities in the region for the past 3-4 years.
Mr. Dinkar Kachhap is the founder of Birsa Sena and has participated in struggles demanding justice for the victims of caste atrocities in East Singhbhum district.
Background of the Incident: On September 30, 2022, Ms. Geeta Beldar and Ms. Beena Beldar – both Dalit women who were working as cooks at the Shyamsundarpur Rajkiya Buniyadi Vidyalay in East Singhbhum district for 16 years – were dismissed from service by the Head Master Mr. Ashok Kumar Pal, saying that since they were lower castes, food prepared by them could not be eaten. On October 3, 2022, Ms. Geeta and Beena Beldar visited the Birsanagar police station in Jamshedpur – the designated police station under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act in East Singhbhum district – with a written complaint demanding registration of an FIR against school authorities. But the Officer in Charge of Birsanagar police station Mr. Prabhat Kumar refused to register any FIR, so they reached out to HRDs Mr. Kartik Mukhi and Mr. Bikash Hembram for support. At around noon on October 3, Mr. Kartik Mukhi, Mr. Bikash Hembram and other HRDs gathered in front of the police station and protested peacefully against the police inaction, but they were abused by the Officer in Charge and pushed and shoved around by police personnel. When Mr. Mukhi and Mr. Hembram pressed with the Officer in Charge to register an FIR, he called them pimps, grabbed them by the collar and pushed them out of the police station. An FIR based on Ms. Geeta and Beena Beldar’s complaint was finally registered in the evening on October 3 after the intervention of the Superintendent of Police, Jamshedpur City. Mr. Kartik Mukhi and Mr. Bikash Hembram also submitted a written complaint to the police regarding their assault and abuse at Birsanagar police station in the evening on October 3, but no FIR was registered based on their complaint. Details of the Incident: On October 5, 2022, at around 2 AM, when Mr. Kartik Mukhi was riding alone on his motorbike through the Sakchi roundabout in Jamshedpur, he was intercepted by 10- 12 uniformed policemen. Police personnel took away his bike key, shoved him into the police jeep, and took him to Sakchi Police Station, punching him repeatedly along the way. He was not told why he was detained or if he was arrested. Instead, his mobile was confiscated after reaching the police station, and he was repeatedly kicked and punched on his chest, back, legs and buttocks by police personnel throughout the night. Sub Inspector Deepak Maurya and the munshi of Sakchi Police station led the assault on the HRD. He was then detained at the police station. In the morning of October 5, 2022, at around 9 AM, Mr. Kartik’s mother Ms. Mamata Mukhi, his younger brothers Mr. Rohit and Krishna Mukhi and his sister Ms. Sunita Mukhi visited the Sakchi police station to inquire about Mr. Kartik. But the munshi and other police personnel refused to answer their queries, misbehaved with them, abused them and pushed them outside. While family members maintained vigil outside the Sakchi police station throughout the day, local HRDs including Birsa Sena founder Mr. Dinkar Kachhap joined them in demanding the release of Mr. Kartik Mukhi. At around 11 AM, they heard Mr. Kartik Mukhi cry out in pain from inside the police station premises.
Mr. Rohit and Krishna Mukhi entered the police station unopposed, and saw Sub Inspector Mr. Deepak Maurya repeatedly hitting their elder brother Kartik, with his baton in a separate room in the police station premises. Mr. Maurya assaulted Mr. Krishna and Rohit Mukhi when they asked why Mr. Kartik was being assaulted, and abused them in casteist terms. Mr. Maurya repeatedly kicked Mr. Krishna Mukhi on his chest and stomach till an old surgery (colostomy) in his abdomen was injured and his intestines spilled out in the open. Mr. Krishna Mukhi was crying out in pain after the assault, but despite the seriousness of his injuries, police did not take him for treatment and detained him and Mr. Rohit Mukhi inside the police station for over six hours. Mr. Kartik Mukhi was also detained inside the police station premises. Police also turned down pleas for the treatment of Mr. Krishna Mukhi and release of other HRDs from activists and family members who had assembled in front of the police station. At around 8 PM, Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jamshedpur reached Sakchi police station. An ambulance was arranged to take Mr. Krishna Mukhi for treatment to the MGM Hospital in Jamshedpur, but he was referred from there to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences located 130 km away in Ranchi. As his condition was serious and his intestines were exposed, family members decided against taking him to Ranchi and admitted him at the Tata Main Hospital, where he underwent an 8-hour surgery. His final diagnosis as per hospital records was ‘Traumatic Colostomy Prolapse’, and the reasons for his admission stated, ‘Admitted with C/O Pain Abdomen due to A/H/O assault at 11 AM on 5/10/22 at Sakchi’. Meanwhile, the SSP assured the crowd outside Sakchi Police Station that Mr. Kartik Mukhi would be released the following day, and would not be assaulted in the interim, and asked them to go home. But soon after the crowd dispersed, the SSP asked police personnel to pin Mr. Kartik Mukhi down to the floor, and kicked him on his chest several times with his boots. He abused the HRD in casteist terms, saying ‘Ghasi hai, bada neta banta hai (You are a Scheduled Caste and strut around like a leader!)’. From 2 AM, October 5, 2022, - 10 PM October 6, 2022, Mr. Kartik Mukhi was kept under illegal detention at the Sakchi Police Station He was produced before the magistrate at around 10 PM on October 6, more than 40 hours after his detention, in violation of Section 57 of Cr.P.C.
An FIR (no. 212/2022) was shown as registered at 10:15 am on October 5, 2022. Under sections 143, 147, 149, 353, 186, 447, 506, 504 of the Indian Penal Code, by Assistant Sub Inspector Ms. Kamala Oraon. Mr. Mukh is currently lodged in Sakchi jail. Mr. Rohit Mukhi and Mr. Krishna Mukhi and local activist Mr. Dinkar Kachhap were also named as accused in the F.I.R. Other HRDs named as accused in the FIR fear they may be arrested and tortured too. The complainant, Assistant Sub Inspector Ms. Kamala Oraon, has claimed that police detained and questioned Mr. Kartik Mukhi and his relatives for violating traffic rules late in the night on October 4, but released them after obtaining an undertaking. But that claim is contested by Mr. Mukhi’s family. The complainant also claimed that Mr. Kartik Mukhi attacked the Sakchi police station at around 9 PM on October 5 along with Mr. Rohit Mukhi, Mr. Krishna Mukhi, Mr. Dinkar Kachhap and 15-20 others, and they were nabbed from the spot. But Mr. Kachhap and others were heading towards their homes at this time after the SPP assured them regarding Mr. Kartik Mukhi’s safety and Mr. Krishna Mukhi was sent for treatment.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Judicial Harassment
- Violence (physical)
- Wounds and Injuries
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of expression
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to protect reputation
- Right to Protest
- Minority rights defender
Case shared by FORUM-ASIA member People's Watch
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 5 and 6 October 2022, Mr. Kartik Mukhi, Mr. Rohit Mukhi and Mr. Krishna Mukhi, minority rights defenders, were arrested and accused of false charges by the police, severely beaten and vilified while in detention for protesting a casteist incident in East Singhbhum District, India.