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The husband of a village head allegedly chopped off the left hand of a teenage boy for showing disrespect, police said on Friday.
The accused and the victim are distantly related and belong to the same caste, police said ruling out any caste angle to the shocking incident.
The incident took place on Tuesday night at Siruvanoor village in Virudhunagar district, around 500 km south of Chennai.
Police said that the main accused, Krishnan— husband of the president of the village panchayat—was incensed by the boy’s alleged disrespect by sitting crossed legged in his presence.
On the fateful day too, Karthik was admonished by one of Krishnan’s friends.
Sensing trouble, the boy's mother asked him to stay away from trouble and leave the village.
On Tuesday, when Karthik was boarding a bus for Madurai, Krishnan and two accomplices dragged him out and chopped off his left hand. They also threw away the severed hand, police said.
Some villagers notice the boy writhing in pain and informed the police, who rushed him to the Madurai general hospital.
Police recovered the severed hand after a night-long search.
Doctors at the hospital said that they could have patched up the hand, had it been brought to the hospital on time.
The three accused – Krishnan, Kannan and Kumar, all in the 35-40 age group – have been arrested and remanded in judicial custody.