Rajasthan village official in soup over strip search


Jaipur : The Rajasthan government has issued a show-cause notice to a village official of Boraj in Ajmer district after the village council stripped its male members to find and punish a rapist-murderer.

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“The patwari (a village-level official of the revenue department) was issued a show cause notice on Wednesday for not informing the district collector about the incident,” officials told IANS.

The state government has asked patwaris to report events taking place in their villages to their district collectors as part of the effort to improve the information gathering set-up. But in this case, the patwari, Rakesh Sharma, had failed to inform the district collector about the stripping incident, officials said.

On Monday, 1,500 males in the age group of 10-60 of Boraj, over 140 km from here, were asked to strip by the local panchayat in a bid to find the person behind the rape and murder of a village woman. The panchayat asked all the men of the village to take off their clothes to examine their bodies for any bruise marks. The exercise started early in the morning and continued till late in the evening.

Geeta Rawat, 35, wife of Sohan Rawat, was found murdered in a nearby hill area on Saturday evening.

The police suspected that she was raped before being murdered as her disfigured body was found on a hillock. After examining the crime scene, the police said that the victim must have struggled a lot and was known to the victim.

Taking a leaf out of the police investigation, the villagers decided on their own interrogation by asking all the men to strip one by one.

All the elected members of the village panchayat also got themselves examined.

“This is a very old tradition of the panchayat. All the people between age group 10 to 60 years have been examined. Though we were not able to find the culprit in this case, had we found out as per our traditions, we would not have allowed him to eat or drink anything,” Tara Rawat, chief of the village (Mukhiya) told IANS.