A village panchayat in Jharkhand has ordered that the hands of six boys be chopped off as punishment for stealing lac (resin) from nearby forests.
The verdict was passed by the panchayat of Kanderkeda village in Simdega district September 20 after the parents of the six boys failed to deposit the fine slapped by the panchayat, according to local media reports.
The six minors are accused of stealing a kilogram of lac from nearby forests. When the theft was brought to notice of the panchayat, it slapped a fine on the boys' parents.
The two main accused were asked to pay Rs.5,000 apart from giving a goat, rice and wheat. The other four co-accused were asked to deposit Rs.1,000 besides rice and lentils.
The poor parents were unable to pay the huge fines and the panchayat then ordered that the boys' hands be chopped off.
The parents of the accused immediately deposited a little money and sought time to deposit the rest of the fine. The panchayat has given them a week's time to pay up. It has also added five percent interest on the amount.
"How can we pay such a huge amount of money? We are labourers and earn by working in the field. We hardly earn Rs.50 per day. The panchayat should take a lenient view and should not pass a judgment that will destroy the life of the boys," said father of Mangru Miz, one of the main accused.