Two minor girls and a teenaged boy were publicly beaten, their hair was partially chopped off and they were slapped with a fine of Rs 21,000 in a village in Bihar's Madhubani district recently.
Their crime -- the boy had given paan to the two girls, who had dared to eat it.
Julekha Khatoon,17 and Shabana Khatoon,15, are residents of Parbalpur village under Bheja police station in Bihar's Madhubani district. They were tied up with plastic ropes and mercilessly beaten with a bamboo stick, following a decision taken to punish them by elders of the village.
Julekha and Shabana's crime was that they had consumed paan given by Mohommad Minu, a resident of the same village, police said.
According to the police, the village elders also ordered that Mohommad Minu's hair should be partially shorn off.
Family members of Julekha, Shabana and Mohd Minu were ordered to pay Rs 21,000 to the village
committee as a penalty for their 'crime'.
Both Julekha and Mohd Minu's family coughed up the penalty amount. But Shabana belongs to a poor family and her family could not pay such a large amount. Shabana's mother Shahnaz Begum begged the elders of the village to pardon her, but they were in no mood to relent.
The village elders ordered Shahnaz Begum to lock up her house and leave the village along with her family, or stay there and face ostracisation.
In her complaint to the police, Begum said that elders of the village warned her against complaining to the police about the incident. The police have lodged an FIR and begun an investigation into the case.
Madhubani Superintendent of Police Saurabh Kumar said that the police will not spare anybody who is found guilty in connection to the case.