A minor accused of trying to rape an older woman was apparently judged by a local panchayat here instead of being handed over to the police. Local police however said neither had any complaint been received nor did a panchayat take place to decide the fate of the accused.
On May 25, a 24-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted by a 14-year-old boy while she was out grazing her cattle. The boy allegedly grabbed the woman from behind and tried to molest her but was caught by villagers.
“The victim fell on the ground and when the accused teenager attempted to rape her, she resisted and screamed, alerting the villagers who gathered on the spot. The teenager attempted to save himself by claiming that it was a dispute over a trivial issue,” said a source in the village.
Elders of the Jatav community – to which both the boy and the woman belong – allegedly decided to hold a panchayat on May 27, instead of involving the police, to resolve the matter.
In the presence of the villagers, the panchayat decided that the minor be punished by his father, and be hit five times with a shoe in public.
Local police however said the punishment was over another issue, and not over the alleged crime.
“There was no complaint of attempt to rape nor was any panchayat held,” in-charge of Barhan police station, AK Tripathi said.