BHANDARA: In a barbaric form of punishment, at least a dozen young boys were caught and allegedly paraded semi-nude inside the premises of a prestigious central government company on January 3, a top police official said here on Friday.
The incident came to light on Friday, after a video clip of the incident went viral, shocking the people and prompting the police to launch a preliminary inquiry into the incident.
On January 3, the boys were caught for alleged theft by the security personnel of the Manganese Ore India Ltd (MOIL), a centrally-owned mining company categorised as a "Mini Ratna", with mines spread across Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in central India.
The boys were then ordered to strip to their undergarment by the security men who surrounded them and paraded around the company's main gate in chilling single-digit winter temperature.
The security personnel in warm protective gears were seen ordering the traumatised boys to do sit-ups, rolling on the cold ground, jumping up with their hands crossed behind, running around in circles and other forms of punishment while some unidentified people were busy filming the episode on their mobile phones.
"We have made preliminary inquiries of the incident, the police are questioning the boys to confirm everything and will decide the later course of action in the matter," Bhandara Superintendent of Police Vinita Sahu told IANS.
A team from the Gobarwahi Police Station, under whose jurisdiction the MOIL plant is located, was despatched to the factory site to investigate following irate reactions from the local people.
Sahu added that depending on the final report, the police would support the boys to lodge a police complaint to enable action against those guilty.
However, it was not immediately clear what they were being accused of stealing, when and whether inside the MOIL plant or elsewhere and why the matter was not reported to the police immediately.