PATNA: The Bihar police on Friday scurried to book a case against eight people after a 55-year-old-man was forced to lick his own spittle as punishment for entering an influential villager's house without knocking.
The incident took place in village Azadpur in chief minister Nitish Kumar's native district of Nalanda, 70 km from Patna. The punishment was meted out by the village panchayat.
Mahesh Thakur, a barber by profession, allegedly tried to enter an important man's house without knocking on the door Wednesday evening. The village panchayat was convened the next day by the mukhiya Dayanand Manjhi.
As punishment Thakur was made to spit on the ground and then lick the spittle. As he did so, he was beaten by women with slippers in full public view. The whole episode was captured on video, which went viral on Thursday, Diwali day.
The accusation against Thakur was made by Surendra Yadav, a wealthy farmer who is close to the elected mukhia Dayanand Manjhi. Thakur, who has no previous criminal record, was accused of entering into Yadav's house without knocking on the door. Yadav claimed there were only women in the house when Thakur entered.
"We have taken note of the visual evidence of this incident, which confirmed that the victim was forced into a deeply humiliating situation. An FIR has been lodged against eight people and a probe is on," said the superintendent of police of Nalanda, Sudhir Kumar Porika.
Thakur said he admitted his mistake and sought forgiveness, but the village panchayat would not budge. He said he had gone to Yadav's house to ask for some khaini (tobacco leaves rubbed and chewed with lime) and also to inquire about his eligibility for a government welfare scheme.
No arrests were made till Friday evening. The station house offficer of the Noorsarai police station is inquiring into the case.