Bolpur: Villagers of Labhpur, where a 20-year-old tribal girl was gang-raped allegedly on the instructions of a khap panchayat on Tuesday, on Thursday claimed that `nothing of that sort` had taken place there.
With 13 of the perpetrators arrested and sent to judicial custody, villagers feigned ignorance about the horrific incident and were tight-lipped about it.
According to the police, after the girl was seen talking to a man from a different community with whom she was in love, they were caught, bound to a tree and beaten up by members of the khap panchayat or `salishi sabha` before the entire village.
The sabha slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on the two of them and when the girl declared that she was unable to pay, she was gang-raped allegedly at its orders.
"I was there when the salishi sabha (khap panchayat) was held. But I left. I don`t know if the gang rape really took place or not. I don`t know anything," said a villager cautiously.
Another villager said "I don`t know anything. Please leave me alone. I don`t want to say anything."
A woman resident impassively said "I have seen nothing."