‘Police register rape case after NGO intervention’
Udaipur : In a case of utter insensitivity, Khap panchayat of 4 villages, turned a blind eye to the plight of a Dalit differently abled woman who was raped by a youth of the same village under Chanderiya police station of Gangrar block in Chittorgarh district. Instead of reporting the matter to the police, the village elders held a meeting, imposed a penalty of 51 thousand rupees on the accused and bound the vicim’s family not to resort to any legal action. The decision was taken on the ground considering the woman unfit for defending herself and hence, she could be compensated with some money for the wrong caused.In its decision, the panchayat ordered the accused would contribite the penalty amount in construction of a home for the victim under Pradhanmantri Awaas Yojana. Even shocking, when the police was informed of the rape incident, a cop went to the village and instead of counselling the family, took a report that the family didnt want any legal action to be taken against the accused.
The incident took place on May 18 at Bejnakia village under Chanderiya police station. The victim being mentally unfit had been discarded by family who lived out in the open. The accused Seetaram Jat took her to a secluded area in the outskirts and raped heron friday night. In the wee hours of next day he was taking her back to the village on his motorbike when few people of a band party saw him. They chased the accused to some 5 kilometers and caught him. The accused confessed that he had sexually assaulted the woman. The villagers reported the case to the panchayat which assembled the same day. Representatives of four villages including Panchali, Netawal Maharaj took part in the meeting and ordained the penalty. The panchayat bound the victim’s family members not to get a medical examination held of the victim and lodge a police complaint.However, the matter was exposed when a video clip of the meeting went viralon social media. Gramin Mahila Vikas Sansthan, an NGO working for the cause of needy woman was informed of the incident and its members intervened.
Few members went to the village and investigated the case.” We reported the matter to the police. An ASI was sent to the village for fact finding. However, when no action was taken,we visited the village and met the victim’s relatives. One of them told us that the panchayat had suggested them not to take any action” Mamta Singh Chohan, member of the NGO said. The activists gave the recording of the statements to the police upon which the authorities were forced to take a case. On Tuesday, the Chanderiya police registered a case under section 376 of the IPC against the accused who is absconding. ” It is shocking that the police has not taken any action against the panchayat members who intentionally tried to suppress the matter and in a way helped the accused to escape after a heinous crime. The victim is not in a good mental condition, eats leftovers from the roadside, drinks water from the gutter,her condition is so pathetic but the Khap panchayat decision is one that takes up back to the dark ages” Mamta said.
“The case has been registered under relevant section of the IPC as well as the SC&ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Initially the family members had refused to give any complaint when an ASI went to enquire.The panchayat has no role because they didnt decide anything,they just held a meeting and quizzed the accused if he had committed the crime. So we havent taken any action against anyone else. The accused is absconding since and teams have been sent to locate him”
UdaiSingh, SHO Chanderiya police station