August 13, 2021 11:34:22 pm
Six persons of a village in Kutch’s Rapar taluka suffered burn injuries on their hands after they were allegedly forced to dip their hands in boiling cooking oil by a group of their relatives from a neighbouring village to extort a confession from the victims that they had helped elope a woman of their family with another man. However, after one of the victims filed a complaint, police booked six men from the latter village and arrested them on Thursday.
Rapar police said the incident took place at around 5:30 pm on Tuesday at a shrine in the latter village when the accused, who reside in that village, forced family members of the woman to dip their hands into boiling cooking oil with an intention to extort a confession from them that they were behind the woman of their family eloping with a man around two months ago. The men suffered burn injuries on their hands, police said, adding the victims included the brother of the woman in question.
The matter came to light on Wednesday morning when the victims went to a hospital in Rapar town for treatment. Later on, the woman’s brother, who is among those who have suffered burns, gave a complaint to police. Based on his complaint, police booked six men of the latter village under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession) and 506 (2), criminal intimidation. Those booked include the man from the latter village to whom the complainant’s sister is married, as well as a bhuva, the religious head of the community of the accused. Police said the bhuva oversaw the act of dipping hands in boiling oil.
“The accused claimed that the woman, while on a visit to her parent’s home, eloped with a relative of her uncle around two months ago. Her husband and his family accused the woman’s family of helping her do it even though the latter denied. On Tuesday, the woman’s in-laws called her brother and other relatives to their home to discuss the matter. They told the woman’s family members that if they were not behind the elopement, they should prove it by dipping their hands into boiling oil. Not only that, the accused surrounded the victims with sticks, issued them threats and forced the victims to dip their hands in boiling oil in order to extort a confession they encouraged the elopement,” a police officer of Kutch (east) police said.
The police officer said that the accused were picked up from their village after a case was registered against them. “They were formally arrested on Thursday. We have recovered the sticks as well as a frying pan used in committing the crime. We produced the accused in a court on Friday and the court has sent them to judicial custody,” the police officer further said, adding, “The victims’ injuries were not serious and they had been discharged from hospital.”
The incident comes around a month after a woman was allegedly forced to perform such act by her neighbour to prove that she did not have an affair, in a village of adjoining Surendranagar district on July 13.
Practice of forcing one to dip one’s hand into boiling oil to prove one’s innocence is believed to have been prevalent in parts of Saurashtra till a few decades ago.
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