The Art Of Kidnapping Buffaloes In The Chambal Badlands
Yes—incidents of kidnapping are not limited to humans only, in India. Stealing and kidnapping buffaloes is highly profitable too
Humans get kidnapped for a ransom, but buffaloes? Wait till you hear this. The practice is apparently so wide-spread in the badlands of Chambal in Madhya Pradesh that there is even a term for it—panihai. It means bringing back the buffalo after paying the ransom. More often than not, the victims, in this case the owners of the buffaloes, do not contact the local police for help as it is considered futile. The thieves’ networks are said to be so fearsome that the police can't even enter the villages where they reside. So the owners prefer to act through intermediaries to negotiate the price with the kidnappers. The going rate for ransom is 30 per cent of the actual worth of a buffalo. Recently, a buffalo was returned to the owner of Bhukapura village of the Kukthari Panchayat, in the Morena district of the state, after the owner paid a ransom of Rs 20,000 (his buffalo was valued at Rs 60,000).