A caste panchayat here ordered an elderly woman to beg for seven days outside her village and take a dip in the Ganga as penance for the “sin” of incidentally killing a calf. The incident occurred last Friday. Kamleshi Devi (60), a resident of Sriwas Nagar, tried to pull the calf off the lactating cow but the rope around its neck tightened, resulting in its death, corporator Mukesh Garg said. Members of the backward Sriwas community Devi belongs to held a panchayat on Saturday which ordered her to beg outside her village for seven days as penance.
Garg said the caste panchayat asked the woman, a widow, to take a dip in the Ganga and serve food to girls. He said the order was “inhumane and illegal”. “In today’s era, such diktats are not justified. Police should take action,” the corporator said. Devi fainted on hearing the order and was hospitalised. District Hospital Superintendent Dr Ajit Mishra said the woman underwent treatment there.
Devi’s son, Anil Sriwas, said his mother had committed a “mistake” and the caste panchayat only followed the religion and customs. When contacted, Superintendent of Police Anil Singh Kushwaha said no one had approached the police with a complaint. “I came to know about the incident through the media. We have not received any complaint in this regard,” he said. When asked, District Collector Ilayaraja T said he would look into the matter.