Bolpur: Villagers of Labhpur, where a 20-year-old tribal girl was gang-raped allegedly on the instructions of a khap panchayat on Tuesday, today 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."