An Indore-based bangle seller who was beaten up on Sunday for allegedly using a fake name has been booked under the Protection of Children Sexual Offences (POCSO) for allegedly molesting a minor girl.
The three men accused of beating the bangle seller were arrested earlier on Monday. Later that day, a class 6 student came up to accuse the 25-year-old seller of sexual misconduct and harassment. A case was then registered under POCSO.
The case gained national prominence after a video of the incident went viral on the internet. In the video, a group of men was seen attacking the seller in a market. The men then thrashed his bangle-loaded cart and asked the onlookers to loot everything they see.
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The seller later alleged that the men had also robbed Rs 10,000 from his bangle cart during the scuffle. A case was filed after hundreds held a protest outside the police station.
The girl who came forward with sexual harassment allegations said in her police report that the man introduced himself as Golu, son of Mohar Singh. He was later found to be called Tasleem Ali. He reportedly possessed three separate voter ID cards.
The police claimed that Tasleem had been sexually harassing girls in the locality and he did it again on Sunday. Since the girl felt hugely embarrassed, she did not come forward immediately to lodge the complaint.
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Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra explained how the altercation between the seller and the group of men started. "He was using a Hindu name, though he belonged to a different community. He also had two different Aadhaar cards... he was selling bangles which our daughters wear and apply henna during Sawan (monsoon)... that's how the altercation started," the minister said.
The police appealed to the general public to not react to the video that went viral of the attack. "We are keeping a watch on such social media posts. Stringent action will be taken against them," said Ashutosh Bagri, a senior police officer in Indore East police station.