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Farmer in eastern India chops off low caste girl's fingers: report

Farmer in eastern India chops off low caste girl's fingers: report

An enraged landowner chopped off all five fingers of a 10-year-old girl's hand with a sickle after catching her stealing a few spinach leaves from his property in eastern India, a news report said Monday.
Khushboo, the daughter of lower caste laborers, was foraging for edible herbs near the railroad tracks of her village in Bihar state when she mistakenly entered the fields of upper caste landlord Pankaj Rai, The Hindustan Times reported.
When Rai found Khushboo removing spinach leaves, he chopped off the fingers of her right hand, the newspaper said. Khushboo uses only one name.
The girl's father, Sukho Ram, said he had sent his daughter to collect some herbs but she had accidentally strayed into Rai's fields, the newspaper reported.
The incident occurred in the Bhagalpur area, 235 kilometers (145 miles) southeast of Patna, the capital of Bihar, widely considered India's most lawless state with a history of caste violence.
Local police have registered a complaint, the newspaper added. No other details were immediately available.
Caste divisions exist in traditional Hinduism, setting limits on economic and educational advancement. Discrimination persists despite the caste system having been outlawed. An overwhelming majority of low-caste Indians remain economically deprived and continue to battle prejudice.