The absconding Sarpanch of Devalia village in Tejgadh taluka of Chhota Udepur district, Soniasinh Rathwa, who is accused of meting out a humiliating corporal punishment to a teen-aged couple in his village two weeks ago has been suspended by DDO, Dr. Sourabh Zamsingh Pardhi on Monday.
The Chhota Udepur police is pursuing Rathwa, who is an accused in the incident of the humiliation of teen-aged lovers from Devalia village. Rathwa had ordered meted out a corporal punishment to the lovers for “going against” the social norm of not marrying within the village.
The teenaged tribal couple from Devalia, who were flogged in public, smeared with cow dung, garlanded with thorns and the girl made to do the murga squat with the the boy sitting on her shoulders brought to light the atrocity of a Khap panchayat in Devalia that punished the lovers for going against the social norm of not marrying within the village.
On Sunday, while inaugurating the annual Krishi Mahotsav fair for South Gujarat in Rajpipla in Narmada, Chief Minister Anandi Patel had stated that the state government had taken note of the social evil prevailing in the tribal belt and would ensure the “strictest” punishment to the members of the panchayat.
Sources at Pardhi’s office said the order of suspending the Sarpanch had been issued after “receiving instructions from Gandhinagar”.
According to the police, which is still on the look-out, Soniasinh Rathwa, the Sarpanch is also a notorious bootlegger in the area.