Nine persons have been arrested in Chittorgarh district for illegally imposing a fine on two men and ostracising them from the Dhakad community.
According to police, the incident took place in February this year in Semalpura village of Chittorgarh district, about 300 km south of Jaipur.
Kotwali police station SHO Tulsiram Prajapati said, “The victims, Kamlesh Dhakad and Kishanlal Dhakad had filed a complaint in March and we were investigating the case but it got delayed due to the coronvirus pandemic.
In their complaint, the victims said the panchayat had called for their social boycott and imposed a fine of Rs20,000 on each of them for misbehaviour.
The complainants said that at the panchayat meeting, they were asked to carry a basket full of shoes on their heads for an hour. However, Prajapati said no there was no evidence of such a punishment being meted out as one in the village verified this.
The complainants said many years back their brother Rakesh had been adopted by their paternal aunt Mangi Bai. When Mangi Bai’s brother passed away some time back, Rakesh had organised the funeral and bore expenses of all the rituals. However, differences cropped up between the two and Mangi Bai said Rakesh would not inherit her property.
This had angered Rakesh and he demanded that Mangi Bai return the money he had spent on her brother’s funeral. When Mangi Bai refused, Rakesh approached the Dhakad community panchayat in December 2019. Dhakad is a peasant caste that falls under the OBC.
The panchayat was called in February and Rakesh’s brothers Kishanlal and Kamlesh were asked to be present The complainants said they reached late for the panchayat and were asked to carry the basket of shoes on their head.
The panchayat also imposed a fine of Rs20,000 each on them. The brothers expressed their inability to pay the entire amount, the nine panchayat leaders called for their social boycott. The complainants said they paid Rs11,000 each to the panchayat but they were still ostracised.
After investigation, Chittorgarh police has arrested the nine men - Bherulal, Narayan, Nandram, Hariram, Dinesh, Kishanlal, Bherulal, Tarachand and Bherulal. Prajapati said the men have been arrested under section 384 of the IPC (punishment for extortion).