"he swung at my brother’s neck."
A 45-year-old Dalit construction worker had his hand cut off with a sword by a man who owed him money for work.
The shocking incident happened in Dolmou village of Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district.
On November 20, 2021, at around 11:30 am, Ashok Saket got into an argument with Ganesh Mishra over a payment dispute at the latter’s house.
According to Ashok’s brother Shivakumar, Ashok had assembled some pillars and beams at Ganesh’s house.
The fee was Rs. 15,000 (£150), however, Ganesh only paid the Dalit man Rs. 6,000 (£60).
Shivakumar said Ganesh rang Ashok and asked him to come and collect his money.
Ashok went to the house with a co-worker, Satyendra.
Shivakumar explained: “They met Ganesh Mishra in his house, where they measured the work done, but a heated argument broke out over the area constructed and the amount due.
“Mishra asked my brother to wait while he got the money, but instead returned with a sword which he swung at my brother’s neck.
“My brother raised his left hand to protect himself, and the sword chopped it off entirely.”
Satyendra and an injured Ashok managed to escape and met with the rest of their family. From there, they went to a healthcare centre before being referred to Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital.
Rewa SP Naveen Bhasin said: “Soon after I was informed by SDOP PS Paraste, we constituted four teams, one of which was sent to the scene of the crime, and the others after the perpetrators.”
At the scene, the police team began searching for the severed limb.
PS Paraste said: “The accused Ganesh Mishra was living in a house he was getting built amidst his fields.
“The argument broke out over how the work done on the pillar and beam should be measured. He (Mishra) kept swords and lathis in the house.”
The severed hand was eventually found in a field.
PS Paraste continued: “While Ganesh Mishra packed, took some money, and escaped on his motorcycle, two of his brothers picked up Ashok’s arm and the sword, and threw them in the fields.”
Police tracked down members of Ganesh’s family, including his brother Ratnesh and cousin Krishna.
They helped the accused clean up the blood and get rid of Ashok’s severed hand.
Police tracked down Ganesh after his father, Raghuvendra Mishra, provided information.
Ganesh, Ratnesh and Krishna were arrested and booked under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 201 (causing disappearence of evidence of offence), the Arms Act, and the SC/ST Act.
Meanwhile, doctors performed two-hour-long surgery to reattach the Dalit man’s hand.
Chief Medical Health Officer Dr Atul Singh said:
“The success of such surgery depends on how soon and in what condition the severed organ was brought in, and whether the body accepts it after the surgery.
“We immediately cleaned it and began the surgery.
“Considerable blood was lost, but the surgery was successful. We will be able to say whether the arm is working after four-odd days.”