Dalit girl’s rapist let off by panchayat with Rs 51,000 penalty

Punjab Police DSP accused of forcing Ludhiana woman into drug addiction, raping her; suspended
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The 38-year-old accused, Seetaram Jat, had allegedly taken Dalit woman (35) outside Bejnakia village and had raped her

The Hush Post: In an incident that reminds one of medieval era justice, an accused man who allegedly raped a Dalit woman was reportedly let off by the village panchayat after paying Rs 51,000 to the family of the rape victim.

The village panchayat in Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan allegedly tried to shield an upper caste man, an accused of raping a mentally-disturbed Dalit woman. A video showing the panchayat members dissuading the family from filing a case against the accused has gone viral on social media, a report said.

The accused has been identified as a 38-year-old Seetaram Jat who on May 18 allegedly took Dalit woman (35) outside Bejnakia village and raped her. The woman was living as a vagabond as she had been abandoned by her family, the report said.

As per reports, the village panchayat, attended by members from four villages, let go of the accused after slapping a fine of Rs 51,000 and dissuading the survivor’s family against reporting the matter to the police or going for the woman’s medical examination, it was reported.

Finally, on Tuesday, an FIR was finally after the intervention of Gramin Mahila Vikas Sansthan, an NGO working for women.

“The man took the woman to a secluded area and raped her. When the man was returning with her, some villagers caught the accused and he confessed to the crime,” NGO member Mamta Singh Chohan was quoted as saying.

She said that instead of reporting the matter to the police, the village elders held a meeting and slapped a fine of Rs 51,000 on the accused and told the victim’s family not to resort to any police action. In its decision, the panchayat ordered the accused would contribute the penalty amount in the construction of a house for the rape survivor, the report said.

“Even more shocking was the fact that when the police were informed about the rape, a cop was sent to the village who, instead of counselling the survivor’s family, took a report from it that it did not want any police action against the accused,” Mamta Singh Chohan was quoted in the report.

However, station house officer (SHO) of Chanderiya police station, Udai Singh, justified police inaction. He was quoted as saying, “We have registered a case under relevant sections of IPC as well as the SC&ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The panchayat members have no role as they only quizzed the man. The accused is on the run and we have sent teams to apprehend him.”


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