An alleged rape attempt victim, 38-year-old married woman of Chak Bilga village in Banga sub-division, died at the Guru Nanak Mission Hospital, Dhahan Kalera, on Friday morning.
Villagers alleged that 20-year-old Kamaljit, a resident of the same village, attempted to rape her on Wednesday after scaling the wall of her house.
When the woman offered strong resistance, Kamaljit allegedly tried to drown her in a drain outside her house and fled the spot. Villagers spotted the unconscious woman and took her to the local hospital, but her health deteriorated.
"On Thursday morning, I took her to Banga Civil Hospital at 11 am, where she was referred to Guru Nanak Mission Hospital, Dhahan Kalera. However she breathed her last at 6 am on Friday," village sarpanch Avtar Singh told HT.
An aunt of the victim, a Ludhiana resident, said: "My niece had told me that a man tried to rape her. On her screams and shoutings, the accused drowned her in drain water and left her to die." She said that the woman stayed alone in the house as her husband worked in Dubai.
On Thursday, a case was registered against the accused under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 452 (house trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) and 302 (murder) of the IPC at the Behram police station.
Speaking to HT at the civil hospital SP (H) Lakhwinder Pal Singh Khaira said that victim had fallen on the road after the accused pushed her, when she tried to run outside to save herself from the beatings.
On Friday evening, SSP Dhanpreet Kaur told a press conference that the accused had been arrested from Kultham village. She said that accused entered the victim's house by scaling the wall around 7:30 pm.
On queried on the aunt's contention that the accused had tried to rape the woman, she claimed that victim's statement to the police did not mention any attempt to rape.
When contacted, DIG (Ropar Range) RK Jaiswal said that the police was doing its duty and if the any evidence was found that the accused had tried to rape the victim, appropriate action would be taken.
A panel of three doctors carried out the post-mortem at the Nawanshahr civil hospital on Friday. The body was then handed over to family members. The cremation will be held on Saturday, after the return of her husband from Dubai.