That 100 people were forced to dip their hands in boiling oil just to prove that they indeed voted for the candidate who lost the gram panchayat election in Sabarkantha, Gujarat, is horrifying. And what logic — that their hands would not get burnt if they were telling the truth. Besides being criminal, the act is blatant exploitation of the poor. The candidate, Dinesh Parmar, and his campaign manager should be punished. Parmar should also be barred from contesting any election. People should be awakened from their ignorance.

Prem Prakash, Delhi

It is quite shocking to learn that 100 villagers were so naive that they did not realise that by dipping their hands in boiling oil, they would end up sustaining serious burn injuries. The fact that the incident has taken place in Gujarat, touted as the most developed State, is ironical. Fruits of development have obviously not reached the poor in rural India, even in States claimed to be highly “developed.”

K.D. Viswanaathan, Coimbatore

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