The Karnataka Police on Tuesday filed a case against a coffee estate owner and his son in Chikkamagaluru district for allegedly assaulting a group of Dalit women labourers and locking them up for several days, The Hindu reported.

“Some men who borrowed money had left [thier] home, and so the owner kept the rest [of the labourers] locked up, according to the complaint,” Uma Prashanth, Chikkamagaluru Superintendent of Police told NDTV.

The first information report was registered after Arpitha, one of the labourers, filed a complaint.

Officials at the Balehonnur police station said that the the estate owner, Jagadish Gowda, and his son Tilak have been booked under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The accused persons allegedly kept 16 labourers locked up for several days at the coffee plantation, NDTV reported.

The police also said that the complainant, Arpitha, was pregnant and lost her baby after she was assaulted. The woman’s mother said she was two months pregnant.

A police officer investigating the case told NDTV that when he visited the estate, he saw eight to ten persons locked up in a room. All of them were released after the police questioned Gowda.

“They were kept under house arrest for the last 15 days,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party denied reports that Gowda had links with the party. “Neither is Jagadeesha a party worker nor a member,” BJP spokesperson Varasiddhi Venugopal said. “He is just a BJP supporter. He is just like any other voter.”