Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – December 18, 2015

Caste Cannibal

A newlywed couple from Varanasi were arrested over claims they dined on the
Genitals of the woman’s alleged rapist after her husband murdered the alleged

rapist and excised his privates. The victim’s mutilated body was found in a
burnt-out tuk-tuk on a Varanasi sidestreet after the revenge attack, sparked by

claims the new wife, age 20, made that she was raped just three days before her
white wedding in cheery Varanasi. The husband, 26-year-old Hari Pippal,

an untouchable, or Dalit, who became prosperous via his latrine
supply business, has admitted murdering the man after discovering his wife,

also untouchable, was not a virgin on their wedding night in atmos-
pheric Darjeeling, the former British hill station, where they spent

their honeymoon. “I was outraged,” Pippal told the swarming Indian
media after his arrest, adding that his decision to eat the victim’s

genitals was made instantaneously “to cure my heartache.” Police
say that after murdering the man, Pippal transported the victim’s

severed genitals wrapped in butcher paper to his house, ordered his
20-year-old wife to cook the genitals, and the pair then ate them

together, along with rice masala and dahl. The mutilated victim, with
whom the wife formerly consorted, was an elephant handler in a

small dingy zoo four kilometers southwest of Varamasi. Sarasvati, a
local police spokesperson who goes by the one name, told the

swarming Indian media that “the case is still under investigation but
we strongly suspect that this is a premeditated murder.” The

husband is accused of carrying out the murder, with the wife acting
as a willing accomplice. The victim was found dead in a burnt-out

tuk-tuk in the Manikarnika Ghat sector of Kashi. Pippal had ordered
his wife to contact the victim and set up a liaison in a butcher shop

owned by the wife’s brother. When the victim arrived at the butcher
shop, he found only Pippal, who then allegedly hacked him to

death, hung him upside-down from a meat hook, severed his
genitals, removed the mutilated cadaver from the meat hook and put

it in the tuk-tuk which he set on fire. VV Subramanian, the
prosecutor, insists that the brutality of the crime is yet another

reason for maintaining, even “refining,” the much disputed caste
system in India.