Free Press Journal

Bhopal: Man commits suicide; kin set huts ablaze with body inside


Meghnagar: Tension prevailed in Padalwaghati village under Kalyanpura police station limit in Meghnagar after relatives of Dewan, a villager from Semliya committed suicide at his in-laws place in Padalwaghati village. As soon as Dewan’s family members and relatives came to know about his death, they rushed to Padalwaghati and created mayhem. They looted many huts and later set them on fire to avenge his death. Village is situated barely 25-kilometre away from Jhabua district headquarters.

As per the police complaint, deceased relatives put Dewan’s body inside the hut of his in-laws and set it on a fire to avenge lose. Police launched a massive manhunt to arrest those who were involved in the crime. Many villagers from Padalwaghati claimed that it’s a case of “montanna”, a tribal compensatory measure to help the family of a person killed in unusual circumstances.

Tradition becomes a means of extortion is grossly misused in tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. They added that as part of compensatory measure, villagers ready to hand over some cash to the deceased’s relatives, but they created tantrum demanding compensation of Rs 10 lakh.

Matter started when Dewan from Semliya entered wedlock with Bheelji’s daughter, resident of Padalwaghati. At the time of marriage, Bheelji promised Dewan that he will gift him motorcycle.

However, failing to get motorcycle, Dewan started forcing his father-in-law to fulfill his demand. Dewan who went to his in-laws house on Saturday got into dispute with his father-in-law Bheelji and subsequently consumed poison at his place and ended his life.

As his family members and relatives came to know about his death at his in-laws place, they thronged to Padalwaghati and started demanding “montanna” as Dewan died at Bheelji’s place under unusual circumstances. Unable to get any compensation, relatives put his body inside the hut and set it on ablaze.

Villagers claimed that relatives of Dewas also damaged neigbouring huts and also set them on fire. Accused also looted some houses in the village and set them on fire. When contacted Kalyanpura police station in charge sub-inspector GS Gamad said heavy police force have been deployed in the village and we were keep eye on situation.

Case has been registered against those involved in arson and search for them is on. Notably, this is the second similar nature of incident reported in the district within span of five months. Earlier, on intervening night of March 7 – 8, few huts from Kaglakho and Dudhi villages were torched to avenge a murder.

Village women informed that unidentified people damaged 25 to 30 houses in the village and looted gold and silver ornaments, utensils and cattle to avenge murder of one Prakash, resident of Dudhi village. Prakash was murdered by his cousin Kailash, resident of Kaglakho village of Jhabua district at Bhoisar village of neigbouring Maharashtra state.

Following the incident, tension prevailed in both the villages and families from Kaglakho left the village. Villagers claimed that they were forced to live in forest fearing that residents of other villages may attack them.