A self-styled ‘court’ has ordered a medieval version of ‘justice’ for a woman who was sexually exploited by two men for the past two years. The 24-year-old woman from Himachal Pradesh has been told to live as a second wife with one of the tormentors. Three months ago, she even gave birth to a child allegedly fathered by one of the men, after which the man’s wife had got to know of the relationship.
And the police, instead of taking action on a complaint of rape given by the woman, acknowledged the decision of this ‘court’ by duly stamping the so-called ‘raajinama’, a document of mutual understanding between family and friends of both sides. The woman said she was pressured but neither she nor any family member of hers actually signed this document.
The woman, a resident of Palampurin Himachal, worked at a private hospital in Haibowal here, where she met Ranjit Kumar of Laddowal, who worked at the same hospital. Ranjit got into a relationship with her and exploited her for a year.
Then, Ranjit’s brother-in-law, Ashok Kumar of Salem Tabri area, abused her for another year and even got her a room on rent in Haibowal with promises of settling down with her.
The woman gave birth to a child around three months ago. Soon after, Ashok’s wife came to know of the relationship and pressured the woman to leave town. But the woman realised that she had been wronged, and filed a complaint.
However, it is alleged, the station house officer (SHO at Basti Jodhewal, Harvinder Singh, rather decided to solve the matter “amicably”. The woman visited higher officials to lodge an FIR, but to no avail.
With cops as mediators, acquaintances of the woman and family and friends of Ashok decided that the woman would reside with Ashok and his wife at their house. In a agreement signed by the family and friends, Ashok’s wife even said she had no objection to the woman staying with her husband. HT is in possession of a copy of the document bearing police’s official stamp.
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP), Ludhiana-east, Ramneesh Chaudhary, when contacted, said the woman had said she wanted to live with Ashok and did not want any action. The woman disputes this.
Asked how the police could act as a virtual kangaroo court, the ACP then claimed he had no information regarding the issue: “If anyone has any objection regarding the matter, he or she can approach court.”