Rajasthan suicides: Four community panchayat members held



Karauli (Rajasthan): Four members of a community panchayat have been arrested after four members of a family and their neighbour committed suicide in Bajna Khurd village in Rajasthan's Karauli district, police said Saturday.

"We arrested four members of the community panchayat late Friday evening and have started to question them. We are searching for the remaining members of the panchayat," a police official told IANS on the phone.

It has been alleged that a panchayat diktat had forced the five people to commit suicide Thursday.

Gajendra Jat, a farmer, along with his wife Heero Devi, a six-year-old son Rohit, and nine-year-old daughter Chanchal, and neighbour Kunwar Devi committed suicide by jumping before a speeding train.

Gajendra, in his suicide note, alleged that he was taking the extreme step as the panchayat held him guilty for having an illicit relationship with Kunwar Devi, and imposed a penalty of Rs.50,000 on him.

"I do not have money to pay...neither I am guilty of the charge. The only way out for me is to commit suicide," he wrote in the note.

Sources said many villagers were against the panchayat decision as Kunwar Devi had denied the charges leveled by her family against Gajendra.

They said the villagers had, however, never imagined that Gajendra would take such an extreme step following the diktat.

IANS