A 59-year-old man was arrested in Rewari for allegedly defecating in front of two women — a sarpanch and another member of the village local body — in September 2016.
The women, representatives of Baldhan Khurd village in Jatusana tehsil in Rewari, were taking a morning round to check open defecation under the Swachh Bharat campaign on September 30, 2016, when they came across the accused, Shyam Lal, a numberdar (a villager with large land holding). Lal was carrying a water bottle and purportedly going to relieve himself in the open.
The sarpanch dissuaded Lal from doing so and tried to make him aware of the open defecation free (ODF) scheme. The accused allegedly argued with the sarpanch and entered a nearby field. The sarpanch alleged that Shyam Lal lowered his trousers in front of her and the other woman member, and defecated in the open.
In her police complaint, she mentioned that Shyam’s daughter-in-law was a contestant in the panchayat polls and lost to her. She alleged that Shyam bore a grudge against her and, as such, he perpetrated the act.
An FIR under Section 354 A (sexual harassment) of the IPC was filed at Jatusana police station. The matter was handed over to the women police station and a special investigation team (SIT) was formed to probe the matter.
“The accused was arrested on Thursday after the SIT submitted its report and found him guilty. He was produced before a court and sent to judicial custody,” a spokesperson of Rewari police said.
Yash Garg, deputy commissioner, Rewari, said rural areas of the district have been declared ODF while work in urban areas is ongoing. He said 358 panchayats of the district are now ODF.
Under the scheme, an incentive of Rs 12,000 is provided for construction of toilets in houses. The state government has declared Sirsa and Panchkula district as ODF as more than 90% houses in these districts have toilets.