A village council in Uttar Pradesh let off an alleged rapist after he touched his victim's feet, according to a report in the Times of India. The charade in the name of instant justice was carried out right in front of the local police.
A 30-year-old woman, working at a levelling project under the MNREGA at a forested area in Meergunj, was alone during the lunch hour on January 28 when the 32-year-old accused, Rohtash, allegedly dragged her to an isolated spot and raped her, the report said. The accused threatened to kill her if she raised an alarm.
When she went to the Meergunj police station to lodge a complaint, police officials refused to take her seriously. They called up the village head instead, who called for a panchayat or council outside the police station. The accused, Rohtash, was asked to touch her feet and ask for forgiveness.
When he did, the panchayat declared him absolved of his guilt and even asked the survivor to stay mum on the crime. When the rape survivor called the superintendent of police, Brijesh Srivastava, he directed the Meergunj police to lodge a complaint.
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