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STORY IN SHORT 

In a shocking incident that highlights the plight of bonded labourers, a tribal woman in Telangana endured days of unimaginable torture. Disrobed, beaten, and with chilli powder smeared on her face, she suffered at the hands of her tormentors. 

This article delves into the legal aspects surrounding this case, shedding light on the rights of the victim and the accountability of those responsible.

THE GRUESOME ORDEAL 

The victim, a bonded labourer, toiled on a farm owned by Bandi Venkatesh in Nagarkurnool district. Her husband, equally trapped in this exploitative system, witnessed her suffering. The farm owner’s mistreatment escalated, accusing her of inadequate work. 

When she attempted to escape, she was forcibly taken to a house adjacent to the owner’s residence. Shockingly, her sister and brother-in-law, embroiled in a property dispute with her, also participated in the abuse.

CHILLI POWDER, BEATINGS, AND DEHUMANIZATION                          

The victim’s ordeal reached horrifying depths. Here are the chilling details:

  1. Confinement and Disrobing: She was confined to prevent escape, disrobed to strip her of any dignity, and rendered vulnerable.
  2. Chilli Powder Torture: On the orders of Venkatesh, her sister and brother-in-law sprinkled chilli powder on her eyes, face, and body. This cruel act caused immense pain and suffering.
  3. Physical Assault: Beating her with sticks, they inflicted physical harm, leaving her emaciated and weak.
  4. Sexual Assault: The perpetrators went further, burning her private parts with a cloth.
  5. Videotaping the Abuse: Shockingly, they recorded these acts of brutality.

LEGAL CHARGES AND ACCOUNTABILITY                                                

  1. Attempted Murder (IPC Section 307): The accused allegedly sprinkled chilli powder on the victim’s eyes, face, and body, and beat her with sticks. Such acts endanger life and fall under this section.
  2. Assault (IPC Section 354): The physical violence inflicted upon the victim constitutes assault. The accused’s actions caused severe harm and suffering.
  3. Sexual Assault (IPC Section 376): The burning cloth placed on the victim’s private parts amounts to sexual assault. This heinous act warrants stringent punishment.
  4. Criminal Intimidation (IPC Section 506): The accused allegedly intimidated the victim, preventing her from escaping. This offense is punishable under Section 506.
  5. SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989: The victim belongs to a Scheduled Tribe (ST). The Act aims to protect marginalized communities from discrimination and violence. The accused can be prosecuted under this law.

REACTION & SUPPORT FROM DEPUTY CM OF TELANGANA                  

The Kollapur sub-divisional magistrate issued an order to free the couple under the Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourers.

  • Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka visited the 27-year-old woman who is currently undergoing treatment at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad.
  • She was assured by the Deputy CM that the state government would cover all expenses for her treatment until she recovers.
  • Furthermore, government would offer her a house under the Indiramma housing scheme if she does not already own one and he promised education for her children in a state-run social welfare school and land for cultivation.
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