A couple in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna district on Tuesday drank poison in front of the police after they allegedly tried to destroy their crop during an anti-encroachment drive, The Quint reported. The police and the district administration claimed that the couple were cultivating their crop on government-owned land.
The Guna district administration wanted to vacate the land to build a college, according to the website. Guna district Tehsildar Nirmal Rathore, who supervised the eviction drive, confirmed to The Quint that the couple tried to kill themselves after the district authorities took measurements of the land and tried to remove them from the site. The residents also resisted the police’s eviction efforts.
A video of the incident, shot by onlookers, shows policemen brutally beating up some residents with sticks. A woman is seen pleading with the police to stop and trying to shield a man from the blows. A child is seen following the couple. Some other pictures show the farmer couple’s children holding them and crying as they fell unconscious after consuming poison.
Gwalior Range Inspector General Rajababu Singh told The Quint that the police were beating the locals because they were trying to stop them from taking the couple to a hospital. He added that a police team will investigate the incident.
The Guna district tehsildar told ANI that the couple were eventually moved to a hospital.
The Madhya Congress Pradesh Congress lashed out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party after the incident and blamed it for the police brutality. “Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s shameless display of , arrogance,” the party tweeted. “His police force brutally beat up a farmer couple and tore the woman’s clothes. The children are screaming. The end of this blind, deaf and dumb government is near.”