A woman was allegedly paraded naked and her head partially tonsured at the behest of the panchayat at Munni Baigra village under Pear police station of Muzaffarpur district, 72km north of Patna, on Saturday.
The incident came to light when the victim, Sukhiya, 38, (name changed) reached the women’s police station to lodge a complaint against her husband, sarpanch and other people present in the panchayat.
In her written complaint to the police, Sukhiya alleged that her husband used to force her into prostitution. “When I objected to it, he beat me mercilessly. He also beat up my son, who took my side,” said Sukhiya.
She said that in order to teach her a lesson, her husband alleged that she was involved in an illicit relationship with another man, and took the matter to the village panchayat.
“When I reached the panchayat on Saturday, the ‘panchs’ (members of village court) passed an order to strip and parade me through the village streets,” Sukhiya said in her complaint.
“The local police initially refused to take my complaint. Finally, when I met the senior superintendent of police (SSP), he directed the women’s police station to register my complaint,” the victim told newspersons.
Muzaffarpur SSP Vivek Kumar said he had ordered a probe into the incident. He assured the woman that all culprits would be booked soon and justice dispensed to her.
“I have asked the SHO of Pear police station to arrest the sarpanch, woman’s husband and 26 others accused in the case,” the SSP told HT.