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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

45-year-old woman stripped, paraded on donkey in Rajasthan tribal village

JAIPUR: A 45-year-old woman was forcibly tonsured, stripped and paraded on a donkey across a tribal village in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan on Saturday. Thirty villagers involved in the act have been arrested out of them 26 have been sent to judicial custody and the rest to police custody.

On November 2, one Vardi Singh from Thuravad village in Rajsamand district died under mysterious circumstances. His family cremated him soon after without a post-mortem but three days later a meeting of the village elders cast suspicions on the 45-year-old woman, who is a relative of the deceased.

The villagers also filed a police complaint against the woman but did not wait for justice to be delivered. Instead they dragged the woman out of her house, blackened her face with charcoal, tonsured her head, stripped and paraded her on a donkey across the village.

The victim’s husband reported the matter to the police who swung into action and arrested 30 villagers including nine relatives of the victim. “The incident is shocking and we have not let anyone go scot free. All 30 villagers including a woman who were found guilty of being involved in the act have been sent to either judicial or police custody,” Sweta Dhankar, superintendent of police, Rajsamand said.

“The victim was initially sent to a shelter home and counselled. She was in trauma and not in a state to narrate the incident. However after counselling her we have been able to record her statement. She is now at her parents’ place and we have provided her full security.”

Dhankar said that the cause of Vardi Singh’s death could not be ascertained as he was cremated without a post mortem. However circumstantial evidence points to a suicidal death. “The villagers cannot take the law in their hands like this. If they had any suspicion against the victim they should have approached the police for a fair investigation and not passed their own judgment. The matter is still being probed,” Dhankar said.

Tension continued to prevail in the village and heavy police force was deployed to avoid any untoward incident.