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Weird News
2006-09-18 - Weird News
Mary K. Brunskill - All Headline News Staff Writer

Village Council Orders 150 Men To Dip Hands In Boiling Oil

(AHN) -- After police failed to respond to a school principal's report of stolen food, the leaders of a village in the Indian state of Rajasthan decided it was up to them to make sure the criminal was brought to justice. To determine who was guilty of stealing the school's rice and wheat, the village leaders ordered 150 men to dip their hands into a cauldron of boiling oil.

The council, or panchayat, of Ranpur village, 210 miles south of state capital Jaipur, worked for 10 days to find the thieves. Unable to identify any culprits, it issued what New Delhi's Sunday Express called the "medieval diktat."

The 150 men - who came from Ranpur and two neighboring hamlets - were told to reach into a cauldron of boiling oil and pull out a copper ring.

Only 50 did not comply. Those 50, the council elders determined, were guilty.

One 44-year-old man who endured the painful dip told the Sunday Express, "We would have been ostracized if we refused. Out of fear all of us agreed. This is not the first time this has been done."

The elders have since been arrested.

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