Two days after a kangaroo court in Bihar's Madhubani district punished two minor girls and a teenaged boy for visiting a rural fair together and chewing paan (betel leaf) by partially tonsuring their heads before assaulting them and slapping a fine, the police are yet to make any arrests.
The nine people accused in the case are absconding.
Madhubani Superintendent of Police Saurabh Kumar told rediff.com, "We will arrest all of them and conduct their speedy trial."
Mohahmmad Minu (20), Julekha Khatoon (17) and Shahina Khatoon (15), all residents of Parbalpur village in Madhubani, were publicly beaten and their heads partially tonsured after a decision was taken in a small meeting attended by some villagers last
"Julekha and Shahina's crime was that they dared to visit a fair along with Minu and chewed betel leaves given by him. After some youths informed the village strongmen, a meeting was called where a decision to punish the trio was taken," Gopal Prasad Singh, officer in charge at the Bheja police station, under which the Parbalpur village falls, said.
According to him, the kangaroo court asked the families of Julekha, Shahina and Minu to pay Rs 21,000 as fine for their crime.
When Shabana's mother Shahnaz Begum pleaded with the village elders to pardon her as she was not in a position to pay the fine, the latter ordered her to leave the village or face
ostracisation," Singh said.
Following the kangaroo court verdict, Shahnaz registered a police complaint against nine villagers
In her complaint, Shahnaz claimed that her daughter and her friend had gone to attend a religious function in a neighbouring village.
"Both girls consumed betel leaves as part of the popular culture of Mithilanchal. They had not committed any crime, yet were punished," she said.