Gujarat leader tests loyalty, forces people to dip hands in hot oil, held
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The Sabarkantha police have arrested a local leader and his associate for forcing at least 40 people of their Thakore community to dip hands in boiling oil to find out that they had voted for him in the panchayat election that was held last Sunday.
Dinesh Parmar, who stood for the post of sarpanch of Derai village in Bayad taluka, lost the election, the results of which were announced on Tuesday.
By Wednesday, the police had identified at least 31 persons who burnt their hands. The number is likely to go up as there were about 150 people, including women, who were reportedly victimised by a belief that their hand would remain intact if they were telling the truth.
The police have booked Dinesh and his associate Amrut Parmar for criminal intimidation, causing grievous hurt and trying to induce person to believe that he or she will be rendered an object of the divine displeasure.
The police said soon after the election result came out, Dinesh sent out messages in the village telling the community members to assemble at the temple of Bhathiji Maharaj. In no time, about 150 people assembled. Soon people were asked to dip their hands in the boiling oil in the frying pan to prove "loyalty" to Dinesh. He told the crowd that those who voted for him will go unhurt while "betrayers" would feel the heat.
One by one people dipped their hands in the hot oil. By Tuesday evening, 20 people, writhing in pain, went to the primary health centre and then approached the police to lodge an FIR.
SSP Chirag Koradia said police teams were visiting each house to locate the victims.