A scuffle over drawing more water than rationed cost a man his ear in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirappalli.
The incident, which occurred on Wednesday, happened when Mahendran got into an argument over seeking excess water from the local tap, which his neighbour and relative Rengaraj objected to.
What began as a heated argument over the water crisis resulted in a physical altercation, ending with Rengaraj biting off Mahendran’s ear and spitting it out.
Police said the victim’s ear has been missing since the fight as they suspect it may have fallen into a nearby ditch after Rengaraj allegedly spat it out.
Rengaraj was arrested while Mahendran was admitted to a hospital, police added.
The area has been dealing with an acute shortage of water due to last year’s monsoon failure. To mitigate the situation, residents came to an understanding on the amount of water one could draw from the common tap.
Tamil Nadu is facing its worst drought in 140 years, resulting in precarious storage levels in all reservoirs including the Mettur Dam.
People have been holding protests in different parts of the state seeking adequate supply of drinking water.