A 30-year-old mother of two was hacked to death by a distant relative at Naigawan village in Panna district, 410km northeast of in Bhopal, after the woman resisted attempt of the accused to molest her on Thursday morning.
Before she was killed, the woman - Munni Raja - showed enough courage to attack the accused, Lokendra Singh Bundela, 32, with a sickle.
But he picked up an axe and hit her on the right side of her throat, killing her instantly, sub-divisional officer of police (SDOP) of Gunnaur, Shashikant Kankane told HT.
Interestingly, the superintendent of police of Panna, Anil Maheshwari, sought to play down the alleged attempt of molestation as he told HT that although local people were floating the molestation-bid theory; it was still a matter of investigation as the accused was a relative of the victim and even had food at her place regularly.
The incident comes five months after a tribal woman was killed in Betul district for refusing to retract a complaint of rape of her minor daughter.
Madhya Pradesh has been recording highest number of rape cases in the country for the last few years.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, during year 2011, in all, 3,406 rape cases were reported in the state - highest in country. According to Gunnaur police, Lokendra, who works as a labourer at Raipur in Chhattisgarh and is currently visiting his native village Naigawan, went to the grocery shop that Munni's husband Bharat Singh Bundela runs at their house and asked for a bundle of bidi from Munni at around 11.00am on Thursday.
Sensing that Munni was alone at the shop-cum-house, the accused allegedly tried to molest her.
However, Munni resisted stiffly and picked up a sickle to attack Lokendra.
Infuriated, Lokendra retaliated with an axe and killed Munni, SDOP Kankane said.
Munni's 10-year-old son, who had gone nearby, returned meanwhile and saw part of the incident and alerted the villagers.
The villagers managed to nab a bleeding Lokendra and called the police.
"We gave him primary medical aid at Gunnaur and have sent him to Panna district hospital after he was referred. He has, however, been arrested," the SDOP said.
The Panna SP, however, said that Lokendra was Munni's brother-in-law through a distant relation, and since he had been back in the village from Raipur, he had been having food at Munni's house.
"It could be a matter of family feud and we are investigating all angles," SP Maheshwari said.