The Uttarakhand Police on March 10 registered an FIR against BJP MLA from Rudrapur constituency, Rajkumar Thukral, along with two other BJP workers for allegedly thrashing and abusing three Dalit women who went to his residence for a dispute resolution. Thukral has been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentionally insulting), and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Reportedly, on the morning of March 9, two families had approached Thukral’s resident in Rudrapur, in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar district, to sort out a dispute – a minor girl from one family had eloped with a minor boy from another family.
Ram Kishore, the minor boy’s father, who belongs to the Dalit community, registered a complaint with the police that his wife and two daughters were beaten and abused by the MLA during the “panchayat” between the families.
A video of the incident went viral on social media. The video purportedly shows Thukral (wearing saffron outfit) beating and abusing women outside his residence.
Sadanand Date, senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Udham Singh Nagar told media that an investigation into the matter has been initiated. Meanwhile, BJP, which came to power in the state last year, issued a notice to Thukral asking for an explanation of the incident within ten days.
Thukral was elected for the second term as MLA from Rudrapur constituency in the state. According to his affidavit submitted during 2017 assembly elections, one criminal case was pending against Thukral under Sections 302 (Punishment for murder), and 436 (use of fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy) of the IPC, in relation with the 2011 Rudrapur communal riots. While facing charges, Thukral went absconding for four months but later surrendered and was taken into judicial custody for a period of fourteen days. However, in April last year, the BJP government in the state announced to withdraw all political cases against its leaders including the one against Thukral.
In October 2011, communal riots had broken between Hindus and Muslim religious communities in which four persons were killed and nearly sixty were injured. Despite a demand to initiate CBI probe into these riots by the opposition parties, the then BJP government did not do so.