Rape survivor attempts suicide after panchayat orders her to pay Rs 5L, take a dip in the Ganga, feed the village

Garhwa (Jharkhand): In the Meral block of Garhwa district in Jharkhand, a rape survivor tried to commit suicide by consuming poison on Tuesday after the village panchayat ordered her to pay fine of Rs 5 lakh. The victim was admitted to Sadar Hospital.

She narrated her story on Wednesday, and said that about a month-and-half back, a youth from the village had sexually assaulted her. She complained to the police and the accused was arrested and sent to jail. The survivor said the panchayat is harassing her instead of helping her. Meral is 228 km away from Ranchi.

Rs 5 lakh fine imposed

The survivor said, “About fifteen days ago, the panchayat ordered me to take a dip in the Ganges, offer worship and then organise a mass feast for the whole village. The panchayat also ordered me to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh.”

The woman’s family said she was greatly perturbed by the panchayat’s order and consumed poison. They rushed her to the hospital, where her life was saved.

Panchayat said the woman had illicit relations

On the other hand, the panchayat said that since the woman’s husband works at some other place, she was having an illicit relation with a village youth Afzal Ansari. In December, the woman filed a case of rape against Afzal. The police then arrested the accused and sent him to jail.

The panchs accepted that they had asked the woman to take bath in Ganga and offer a banquet, but denied they asked her to pay Rs 5 lakh fine.

Family issue, says husband

On the other hand the victim’s husband said, “This is an internal matter of my family. We want to end this issue as it would spoil the village’s atmosphere.”

Meral police officer Gupteswar Sharma said that the accused has been sent to jail in the case of rape. There is no information that a fine has been imposed on the woman and action would be taken if a complaint is received, he said.