"we found the two women tied to a tree"
After they were accused of stealing vegetables, two Indian women were tied to a tree and beaten by a mob in Jharkhand.
Not only were they beaten but they also had their hair chopped off. The incident occurred on September 9, 2019.
The women, who are sisters, had gone to Soba village to buy vegetables at Khadgara Vegetable Market.
On their way home, the rickshaw that they were travelling in had broken down. The sisters then decided to stay at a relative’s house nearby for the night.
On September 9, as the women travelled home with their vegetables, they were surrounded by dozens of villagers.
A rumour had circulated that the Indian women had stolen vegetables from the fields.
The sisters were taken back to Soba village and tied to a tree. The mob then started beating the women while wrongly accusing them of stealing vegetables. Both women then had their hair chopped off.
Police officers received a tip-off about the attack from the mob and arrived at the scene. Officer Navin Kumar said:
“When we reached the spot on a tip-off, we found the two women tied to a tree and their braids were chopped.
“The women were also allegedly thrashed by villagers with shoes and slippers.”
Officers were able to disperse the crowd and rescue the two women. Officer Kumar explained that the women could have been killed if the police did not arrive as quickly as they did. He added:
“It could have turned into a tragic incident had we not reached the spot in time.”
The two women were taken to the Community Health Centre in Burmu, Jharkhand, for treatment. They were later transferred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences.
The victims explained their ordeal to the police. Officer Kumar said:
“The incident took place at Soba village in Ranchi’s Burmu block on Monday.
“However, FIR was lodged on Tuesday based on the statements of the two victims. The accused will be nabbed soon.”
A case was registered against 19 named suspects and more than a dozen unidentified people under sections 354 (assault), 307 (attempt to murder), 379 (theft), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 147 (income escaping assessment) of the Indian Penal Code.
One villager who remained anonymous due to fear of being arrested told the Hindustan Times:
“They were cultivating ginger and coriander leaves on their farm fields, as the two vegetables are getting a high price in the market.
“For the last few days, two or three events of vegetable stealing have happened so we thought the women are stealing our vegetables.”