Panchayat boycott forces family to commit suicide in Rajasthan

Khetnath, 60, his wife Nathibai, 55, and their son Naresh, 27, killed themselves late Friday. They were residents of Gaamdapal village near Salumber town, over 60 km from here.
"We came to know about it Saturday. We were informed by the relatives of the family that they were not opening the door of the house. We found them hanging. A suicide note was found. It said they were forced to commit suicide after a panchayat ordered social boycott," a police officer told IANS.

"They (villagers) were forcing me to either leave the village or commit suicide," Khetnath said in the suicide note.

"The social boycott is really tough to handle as villagers avoid talking to us and no one is ready to offer us drinking water or food to eat. Life is really miserable," he said.
According to police, a caste panchayat ordered boycott and imposed a fine of Rs.5,000 on them June 25 after Khetnath's brother Lalunath alleged that he and his family members practised witchcraft.

Khetnath had also sent a letter to the chief minister, the district collector and the human rights commission alleging that 12 people, including his brother, were responsible for the social boycott and were forcing him to leave the village.
--Indo-Asian News Service

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