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Village panchayat forced 'trial by fire' to prove innocence

Written by: Staff

Jaipur, Sep 17 (UNI) As many as 150 people of Rampur village of Chittorgarh district in Rajasthan were forced to take an ''agni pariksha'' (trial by fire) to prove their innocence in a theft case.

Fifty villagers who refused to undertake the inhuman trial were pronounced guilty by the village panchayat.

About 80 kg of rice and 1.5 quintal of wheat, meant for the mid-day meal scheme, was found missing from the store room of the village school in August. A complaint was lodged with the police by the school principal Sanjay Bilawat on August 31.

However, incensed over alleged police inaction, the village panchayat organised an ''agni pariksha'' on September 10, in which the villagers were forced to pick up a copper ring from a pot of boiling oil to prove their innocence.

Udaipur IG Rajiv Dhasot said five members of the panchayat have been arrested and Ranpur SHO Dharmilal Meena suspended.

The district administration had also suspended Patwari Shambhu Dayal and village secretary Mahendra Singh Rajput. A medical team was also rushed to the village to provide assistance.


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