On Saturday, 17-year-old Pooja (name changed) was allegedly raped by her uncle in Saulana village.
The village Panchayat, instead of taking the accused to task, decided to ‘cover up’ the incident and ordered the flimsiest of punishments—that the accused be slapped five times with shoes.
And that is precisely what happened. Narendra Kumar Singh (40), the accused, was slapped five times and then let off, police officials said.
The incident came to light when Pooja’s parents filed an FIR on Tuesday alleging that Singh had raped their minor daughter at their residence on March 13 at Saulana village under Dhaulana Police station.
The incident took place on Saturday when Pooja was alone at home and her uncle came, locked her up in a room and raped her, police said.
"The girl told her parents who threatened to go to the police. But the people in the area called a Panchayat and tried to cover up the matter," Superintendent of Police (SP) Capt. M M Baig said.
The said Panchayat, attended by 25-30 people, was called by Kuldeep Singh, the village Pradhan on whose orders the accused was slapped five times with shoes and the matter was ‘settled,’ the SP said.
No one paid any attention to the parents’ pleas. The police got to know about it from local media reports and lodged a case under section 376 (rape) against the accused on Tuesday.
"When we got to know of the incident, we reached the girl’s family. The girl has been sent for a medical examination and are trying to nab the accused,” SSP Raghubir Lal said.