By Omar Rashid
A fruit vendor in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri was thrashed by people after they accused him of gargling water and spitting it on the watermelons.
Kheri police on Tuesday said that the allegations made against the vendor, Chand Ali, that he spat on the watermelons turned out to be “false and baseless” after a probe and questioning of the locals.
The police, however, in a statement issued on Twitter, also dismissed the allegations made by the vendor that the policemen present there also thrashed him along with the locals.
Talking to a local television channel, Mr. Ali showed bruises and swelling on his neck, arm and hamstrings, alleging that he was beaten up by the public and also by the police.
“Public surrounded me and started hitting me. Police didn’t help, they hit me a lot,” he said. “The more I pleaded, the more they hit me.”
Kheri police said that a team from the Kotwali Sadar police station reached the spot in Mohalla Barkherva on April 25 after it was widely circulated on Whatsapp groups that the vendor was allegedly selling watermelons after spitting water on them and that local women had caught hold of him.
Police found that Mr. Ali had been a regular at selling seasonal fruits.
“Due to the heat, he was carrying a bottle of water with him. Then a few local youths came there and started creating a ruckus by spreading the false allegation of him spitting water on the watermelons,” said Kheri police.
This story first appeared on thehindu.com