In a shocking test of loyalty, 20 people dipped their hands in hot oil in Gujarat to try to convince a defeated panchayat poll candidate that they had voted for him, an incident which left them with burn injuries.
After the incident at a temple last night, Dinesh Parmar, the candidate who lost, and Amrut Parmar have been arrested following a complaint lodged against the two by Pravin Parmar, police said today.
The complaint was registered under section 324 IPC (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means).
"Dinesh Parmar, who hails from Deria village in Bayad taluka, asked the community members to dip their hands in oil to prove that they had voted for him," police said.
Dinesh bagged 394 votes against rival candidate Melji Parmar's 542 votes.
District panchayat, gram panchayat and nagarpalika pols were held on Sunday and votes were counted yesterday.
The incident took place at Bhathiji Maharaj's temple in the village.
"All 20 persons dipped their hands in hot oil to convince the defeated candidate that they had voted for him.
In the process, 20 persons suffered burn injuries on their hands," Ambaliyaara Police Sub Inspector (PSI) G J Raul told PTI.
Sabarkantha Superintendent of Police (SP) Chirag Koradiya spoke of a superstition behind the incident.
"This is a superstition followed in the village to convince a candidate of their community that they voted for him. The belief is that the fingers will burn only if they have spoken lie and not otherwise," he said.
"The belief is so deep-rooted in the villages here that it is not easy to shed it. People voluntarily dipped their hands in hot oil and no force was used," he added.