A 55-year-old woman was hacked to death in a rural area of Jaipur district in Rajasthan on Tuesday. The unidentified attackers also cut off her legs to steal her silver anklets, the police said. A special police team is now investigating the matter.
The woman's body was found lying in a pool of blood by villagers in a forested area of Khatepura village under the Jamwa Ramgarh police station, Circle Officer Lakhan Meena said. The police are yet to make any arrests in the case.
The woman was identified as Geeta Devi of Khatepura village, the officer said, adding that she had gone to the forest to graze cattle when she was attacked.
According to the police, Ms Devi also had deep wounds on her head and neck, caused by some sharp-edged weapon. Her severed legs were found lying near the body. Mr. Meena added that the silver anklets that she had been wearing were taken away by the killers. Women in rural Rajasthan traditionally wear heavy silver anklets that cannot be unfastened.
Local residents are protesting against the crime and have not allowed her body to be taken away for cremation. They are demanding Rs 25 lakh as compensation for the grieving family and a job for one family member. They are also demanding punishment for the attackers. Thousands of protestors spent the night at the scene of the crime. Police and Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) personnel have been deployed there to maintain law and order.
The news of the gruesome murder triggered an outrage in the state with BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena targeting the state government over the incident.
Mr Meena said that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra must take note of crimes occurring in Rajasthan as well. "Priyanka Gandhi, who is giving the slogan, Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon (I'm a girl who can fight), should look at this incident which happened in Jamwa Ramgarh in Jaipur today," he said. "Is she finding women unsafe only in Uttar Pradesh," he asked.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, BJP Member of Parliament from the Jaipur Rural constituency, has called the state government "ruthless" and busy in saving itself. "Such incidents have become common in Rajasthan and they are covered up so that it doesn't appear in the media. Criminals have been emboldened to this extent, and there's no fear of the police. They're deployed just for the security of ministers," he said.