A mother of four and also having grandchildren, the middle-aged woman was asked by him to face the test, a practice that existed in tribal communities of past generations. (Representational image/DC)
Tirupati: A husband's suspicion has prompted him to attempt a perilous ‘burning oil test’ on his wife, raising serious public concern.
The incident occurred in an ST Colony under Tenepalli Panchayat in Puthalapattu mandal of Chittoor district on Thursday. However, swift intervention from the mandal parishad development officer (MPDO) helped in averting a mishap.
Gundaiah, the husband, suspected his wife's fidelity. A mother of four and also having grandchildren, the middle-aged woman was asked by him to face the test, a practice that existed in tribal communities of past generations.
This inhuman test typically takes place in the village centre, where the entire community would converge and be witnesses. If burns occurred in the 'burning oil test', the woman is declared guilty.
MPDO, C. Gowri, along with the village secretariat staff and the mahila police rushed to the village. The entire village folks were present.
According to the MPDO, Gundaiah and the woman have four children and grandchildren. The family earned their livelihood primarily through farming. The man, suspecting his wife’s fidelity, had a history of quarrelling with her and subjecting her to physical abuse.
Vexed with this behaviour, the woman expressed her willingness to prove her innocence. Gundaiah decided to do a test by organiisng a community gathering and dipping her hands in a vessel of burning oil.
The MPDO confronted Gundaiah by asking him to first immerse his hands in the burning oil to prove his own fidelity to his wife. "He took a step back and started an argument. We took him to the local police station and lodged a complaint. The police referred him to counselling," the MPDO told Deccan Chronicle.