A middle-aged woman was paraded naked on the streets of a village in Bihar on Thursday.
She had dared enter the local temple and thus polluted the holy abode of the gods, violating the prohibition against the entry of widows and hence the 'exemplary punishment.'
Bihar in northern India is one of the most backward states in the country. It is not only plagued by poverty and lawlessness, but instances of brutalities are also common there.
In a region where superstition rules the roost, helpless women are routinely accused of practising witchcraft and set upon violently.
Kalawati of Ranwatand in Dhanbad district has since lodged a complaint with the police saying a mob had stripped her naked, garlanded her with shoes and paraded her.
The screaming crowd of upper caste villagers also accused her of practising witchcraft and held her responsible for the outbreak of chicken pox in the village in which one woman died.
Besides some had tried to make her swallow human excreta, but she managed to resist them, the Times of India reports.
Kalawati regularly offered worship at the local temple dedicated to Kali, but the villagers were outraged, especially so the women. Ironically the temple is dedicated to a woman deity believed to have vanquished a male daemon.
The village women fully supported the humiliation of the widow and staged a demonstration in front of the police station where Kalawati filed her complaint.
Though none has been arrested so far, the police claimed that the guilty would not go unpunished.