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Tribesmen tonsured, police officer transferred

A Sub-Inspector of Police at the Meenakshipuram station was transferred on Sunday following allegations that he had taken into custody three young tribesmen with gel-styled spiky hair from a temple festival venue and forcibly tonsured them at a local barber shop.

District Police Superintendent Debesh Kumar Behera transferred R. Vinod to the armed forces camp at Kallekulangara here following a complaint filed by the youths, who belong to backward Eravala community.

The local Dy. SP was entrusted with the task of submitting a detailed report within 48 hours to initiate further action.

According to the youths, Manikandan (19), Sanjay (19) and Nidheesh (20), the Sub-Inspector and two police personnel took them into custody from a temple at Moolathara late Saturday.

The youths from a nearby locality had gone to the temple to attend the annual festival. They had a minor altercation with another group of youngsters following which the police intervened. According to the complaint, they were bundled into the police jeep and taken to the station for interrogation. They were found innocent, but were mocked for the spiky hair and taken to a nearby barber shop, where the Sub-Inspector forced the barber to tonsure them. Because of an injury on the head, Manikandan was exempted. The youths were later released.

When contacted, the SI said he had not forced any of the youngsters to tonsure their heads. I only suggested to them to sport cropped hair, he said.

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