Thane, Nov 22 (IANS): In a shocking incident, a 17-year old boy was stripped fully naked, forced to go on a road and assaulted by two persons with a belt for not repaying a Rs 300-loan and allegedly 'flicking' a Bluetooth headphone, police said here on Wednesday.
The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon in full public view near the Jama Masjid in Kalwa suburb of Thane, which happens to be the home-town of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Two persons identified as Tausif Khanbande and Samil Khanbande, barged into the home of the minor boy at Annapurna Building nearby, on Tuesday afternoon.
A day after a video of the incident went viral, the Kalwa Police swung into action and nabbed Tausif who was remanded to two days police custody, while a manhunt is on for his accomplice Samil, said an official.
Shiv Sena (UBT) Deputy Leader Sushma Andhare slammed the state government over the incident and tagged the videos to the Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and her party leadership.
According to police, the duo confronted the minor boy accusing him of the alleged 'theft' of the Bluetooth device and also demanded that he should return a purported loan of Rs 300 taken from them last year.
The boy, hailing from a minority community, denied the theft charges and also refused to give the purported loan from them but they were adamant and forced him to 'accompany' them towards the nearby mosque.
There, the Khanbande duo slapped the boy, kicked him on the legs, Tausif pulled out the belt from the boy's trousers and started whipping him on the back as he screamed for help, while Samil brazenly shot a video of the incident from behind.
The Khanbandes – both said to be local ruffians, then caught and stripped the boy fully nude in the public place and continued to assault him, but the minor somehow managed to free himself from their clutches and fled the spot through a narrow bylane, without a shred on his body. Later, the boy approached the Kalwa Police Station to lodge a complaint, but the police only filed an ordinary NC (Non-Cognisable) offence in the matter, ostensibly as he did not narrate the full details of the chilling incident.
Late on Tuesday night, the video of the incident suddenly went viral on social media networks and caught the attention of a social activist Binu Varghese.
Taking strong umbrage, he forwarded the video to the top brass of Thane Police, prompting Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone-I) Ganesh N. Gawade to direct that an FIR should be lodged in the matter immediately.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Kalwa Police filed a FIR based on the teenaged boy's complaint, invoking stringent sections of the POCSO and Indian Penal Code, and further investigations are on.
On the delay of more than 20 hours in lodging the FIR, it was stated that the minor victim was first taken for a medical check-up and treatment before being brought to the police station which resulted in the late filing of the plea.