A video showing Bharat Reddy, a former BJP leader in Telangana’s Nizamabad district, abusing and threatening to beat two men, reportedly Dalits, and forcing them to take a dip in a dirty pond, has sparked outrage in the state.
According to The Indian Express, the incident that took place on September 16 in Abhangapatnam village in Navipet Mandal, but the video went viral on Sunday.
Angry over the incident, Dalit organisations are demanding arrest of Reddy, a former district general secretary of the BJP.
“Based on a complaint by Dalit leaders, we have registered a case and investigating the matter,” said sub-inspector J Naresh of Navipet police station, reported the newspaper.
Assistant commissioner of police M Sudhakar told NDTV they have received a complaint and would be arresting the accused.
The two men have been identified as K Lakshman and Rajesh.
In the video, Reddy can be seen asking the men "Enter the water”, charging towards them with the stick.
"What you are doing is wrong. The government has not given permission...," one of them is heard from knee-deep water in the video.
But despite protests, Reddy is seen forcing them to take a dip in the muddy water.
According to some reports, the two men had stopped Reddy’s vehicle to question about alleged illegal sand mining that the BJP leader was indulging in.
Other reports, however, suggested that the two men were allegedly digging up sand, and the BJP leader had caught them.
The National Crime Records Bureau report revealed that Telangana saw an increase in crime against Dalits in 2015. As many as 1,678 cases in which Dalits were victims were reported in the state last year.
A state with more than 84 lakh Dalits, Andhra Pradesh had the second largest rate of violence against Scheduled Castes in the country after Rajasthan, as per the population ratio.