In yet another chilling episode in the feudal society of rural Bihar, the hands of a 20-year-old youth from Arwal district were chopped off because he failed to repay a loan of Rs 300.
Ram Sagar Chandravanshi, who belongs to an extreme backward caste, is currently admitted in the Patna Medical College.
"My only crime is that I am a poor man and I was unable to repay a debt of Rs 300. When I requested the moneylenders to give me some time to repay the debt, they ordered me to work for a couple of contractors in lieu of the money that I owed. When I refused to do so, they became really angry. They beat me up badly and then started hitting my hand with an axe," said Ram Sagar, a daily wage worker.
"They wanted to punish me in such a way so that I lose my hands, my only means to earn my livelihood, as I had refused to accept their diktat," he said.
The incident took place last week at Kodra village, under Kinjar police station in Arwal, nearly 70 km from Patna.
"I fell unconscious after they attacked me," said Ram Sagar
According to his sister-in-law Sunita Devi, the moneylenders threw him in a field after chopping off his hands.
"We immediately approached the local police for help, but initially they were reluctant to lodge a FIR against the accused. The FIR was lodged later, but no action has been taken against the accused. The police have yet to arrest the accused in the case," she said.
Incidentally, Ram Sagar got married only a month ago.
"This has shattered all my dreams. They badly damaged my hands. How will I earn my
livelihood now," he laments.
According to the doctors treating Ram Sagar at the PMCH, one hand of his has been chopped off while the other was badly damaged.
"We are trying to save one hand," said a doctor.
Interestingly, Arwal Superintendent of Police Bimal Kumar has claimed that the entire incident is concocted and Ram Sagar actually lost his hands in an accident on the railway tracks near Danapur in Patna.
Magadh range Deputy Inspector General N H Khan said that he will ask the SP to send a police official to record the statement of Ram Sagar and to investigate the case.