In a shocking incident, an alleged rapist was pardoned by a panchayat in Bareilly after he was made to touch the feet of the survivor, reported The Times of India.
The accused is a rozgar sewak named Rohtash (32), whereas the survivor is a 30-year-old widow.
On January 28, the woman was working at a levelling project under the MGNREGS in Meergunj tehsil. Her co-workers had left for lunch and she was alone in the area when Rohtash, who was in charge of the workers, arrived on a bike. He then dragged her to an isolated place, allegedly raped her and threatened her against telling about the incident to anyone, states the report.
The TOI report further states, "The survivor, later, went to Meergunj police station to lodge a complaint. The constables on duty allegedly refused to entertain her complaint and called up the village pradhan instead, who arrived at the spot with the accused. The pradhan then called for a panchayat right outside the police station, where Rohtash was ordered to touch the woman's feet."
The panchayat then pardoned the accused and asked the woman to not speak about the incident anymore. The woman however went to the superintendent of police (SP) rural areas, Brijesh Srivastava, and narrated the incident. Following the SP's orders, a complaint has been lodged and an investigation has been started.
Srivastava told TOI, "The matter was brought to my notice and I have instructed the circle officer (CO) to investigate the matter. If the allegations are found to be true, strict action will be taken against the accused as well as the panchayat members."