Two held for forcing Sabarkantha villagers to dip hands in hot oil

Polls

Bayad block health officer Dr Dharmendra Parmar said that around two dozen patients were brought from Ambaliyara public health centre at night and another 15 were brought on Wednesday. "Six of them have suffered major burns and some of them have been referred to nearby hospitals," he said.

Sub-inspector G J Raol, who is probing the incident, said, "Dinesh and Amrut Parmar are community leaders and have a terror among its members. There is no criminal case against them but we have come to know that they are involved in some petty offences related to land deals. Despite forcing people to dip their hands in the boiling oil, the victims didn't approach the police initially out of fear."

Deria village has about 1,000 households, mostly dominated by the Thakore community. Sabarkantha Superintendent of Police Chirag Koradia said police teams were visiting each household in search of victims.

Although village panchayat elections are not fought on party symbols, the BJP claimed Parmar was a Congressman. Bayad Congress MLA Mahendra Vaghela, who is son of Congress Legislature Party Leader Shankersinh Vaghela, who was camping in the village, said people followed Parmar out of fear.

Sabarkantha district Congress president Dahyabhai Patel said Parmar was not backed by the Congress. Winning candidate Melaji Juvanji Parmar is a BJP man whose wife also happens to be a BJP member of Bayad taluka panchayat.

BJP members took out a rally to Bayad mamlatdar office and submitted a memorandum seeking suitable action. "It is the handiwork of local Congressmen and their losing candidate," said Bayad taluka BJP unit general secretary Bipinbhai Patel.

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