Patna, Dec. 2: A panchayat in Gopalganj district in north Bihar has decided to socially boycott four accused of kidnapping and subsequently murdering a minor boy.
The four accused belong to the minority community have been asked by the panchayat to leave the village at the earliest.
The local residents have been told not to allow the accused — Mohammad Abid, Mohammad Hasan, Shahzad and Akhlak Ahmad — to attend any rituals with them.
Ishwarchandra Verma, the panchayat head of Babari Jagdish panchayat, said the tough action had been initiated against the accused to send a message to fellow members that any indecent act would not be tolerated.
He said five-year-old Sheru, son of Sher Mohammad, a resident of Pakhopalli village, was kidnapped on November 26.
The family searched for the boy the entire night but in futile. The next day (November 27), Sheru’s body was found from a neighbour’s house. The victim’s father told the police that he was asked to pay Rs 5 lakh as ransom by one of the accused.
“When I expressed my helplessness to pay the ransom, they killed my son,” the hapless father told the investigating officer of the case, Kamla Kant Prasad.
The investigating officer said he too had heard about the panchayat’s decision, the first-of-its-kind in the state. “I have been told by some villagers about the panchayat order,” he said, adding that the police would submit the chargesheet against all the accused within a stipulated period.
He said the panchayat’s decision would have nothing to do with the police investigation.
“Our job is confined to arrest the culprits, the submission of the chargesheet and the production of the accused in the trial court only,” he told The Telegraph.
A local resident said the residents of Pakopalli and its neighbouring villages have been asked by the panchayat members not to drink water, eat food and have any social relations with the families of the accused.
Earlier, a panchayat in Madhepura district had ordered social boycott of those involved in sale of liquor in the villages falling under its jurisdiction.