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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Pregnant woman tonsured and paraded in Bengal with garland of shoes around her neck

A village kangaroo court asked the woman to pay Rs 1.5 lakh. When she and her family pleaded inability, she was tortured.

kolkata Updated: Aug 09, 2017 13:03 IST
Sreyasi Pal
Sreyasi Pal
Hindustan Times
The woman has named a few locals in the complaint but all of them are on the run.
The woman has named a few locals in the complaint but all of them are on the run.(HT Photo)

A 35-year-old woman, who is seven-month pregnant, was tonsured and paraded with a garland of shoes around her neck in a Bengal village after a kangaroo court punished her for illicit relation with a youth.

The woman was tortured in front of her husband, father and brother. The incident took place at Vita village under Gazole police station area in Malda district of West Bengal, more than 350 km from Kolkata.

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According to the police complaint lodged by the victim on August 8, the incident took place “two to three days ago.” After the torture the woman fell ill and was taken to the hospital by some villagers on August 7.

“The youths tore my sari, blouse and molested me alleging that they have found an ‘objectionable’ picture of mine with a youth. However they didn’t show me the picture,” alleged the woman.

The youths descended on the woman after she pleaded inability to pay following the kangaroo court imposing a penalty of Rs 1.5 lakh on her for the moral corruption.

The woman named several persons in the complaint but the accused are absconding. Some of the accused are Jatin, Anjan, Sanjay,Lalon, Bukka.

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Police have slapped sections 354 (outraging of modesty), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) against the accused.

“We have received the complaint of the woman but the accused are on the run. We are conducting raids to nab them,” said a senior police officer of the district who requested anonymity.

The woman has three children and her husband works as a migrant labourer.

The woman claimed, “When I refused to pay any fine, they shaved my head with a blade. I have been also threatened to be raped after I failed to pay the fine.”

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“We have received the complaint of the woman but all the accused persons are on the run. We are conducting raids to nab them,” said a senior police officer of the district.

According to locals, sometime ago village headmen received ‘complaints’ that the woman is talking with an unknown youth on a regular basis in the absence of her husband. The youth didn’t belong to the tribal community.

“The woman was asked a few times not to keep any relation with the youth as it was ‘polluting’ the environment of the village but she turned a deaf ear to the request. A kangaroo court was also held in the village on this issue. Recently, the court ruled that the stubborn woman’s head should be shaved and she should be paraded around the village with a garland of shoes. She was also asked to pay Rs 1.5 lakh as fine,” said locals.

A few days ago her husband returned to the village, and the headmen informed him of the ‘character’ of his wife and ‘ordered’ him to bring his wife to the kangaroo court for her punishment. But he didn’t carry out the order of the headmen.

“Recently, when I was returning from Gazole market in a bus, I met a youth of my area. He took the seat beside mine and talked with me for a while. Some residents of my village noticed it and started spreading rumours against me,” said the woman.

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 13:03 IST

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