Nevari-Fulwari (Chhattisgarh): A day after 51 people of this village in Chhattisgarh`s Raipur district were sentenced to life imprisonment in a 2008 murder case, stunned locals Saturday said life here has come to a virtual standstill.
"Till yesterday we were happily living our lives... every face had smile despite our poverty, but the court decision has devastated the whole village. Look at the faces of the people now, each one is crying since the news came in...life seems to have stopped for us," Rani Sahu, 22, told agency outside her mud-house here.
Her two family members are among the 51 people who were awarded life imprisonment by a local court in Raipur Friday for setting afire the then village sarpanch Bholaram, 45, after an argument between them turned ugly in January 2008.
A total of 79 people were named in the case.
The village, some 40 km from capital Raipur, is home to about 80 families.
"You mediapersons, don`t ask us details and please leave us," said an angry young woman from the family of the present village sarpanch, Ballaram Sahu, one of the convicts.
But before going into her house, she added: "Life has become hell for everyone here. The only option we have now is to commit mass suicide because almost one person from each family has been given life imprisonment."
Raju Sahu, who owns a small pan-gutka shop in the village, becomes teary-eyed when asked to comment on the court judgment.
"The whole village is suffering for what happened in 2008. The village sarpanch who was killed by the mob was a criminal and had crossed all limits. But yes, after the verdict, one thing is clear -- villagers were not entitled to take law in their hands," he said.