RAIPUR: A 23-year-old rape survivor was penalised by the village community leaders by her village elders for reporting the crime to the police in Chhattisgarh's Jashpur district. The girl, who was asked to cough up Rs 5000, had allegedly 'tarnished the image' of their village by approaching the police with her complaint, they said.
The woman was raped by two youngsters in Jashpur Nagar when she was visiting her relatives in the neighbouring village.
The accused, identified as Sandeep and Kishore, called the victim on the pretext of some work and raped her. They threatened her not to report the incident to anyone. Though the girl went to the police station the next day, her complaint was not registered.
A meeting of the community members was called when the villagers came to know about the incident. She narrated her ordeal and sought justice.
However, to her rude shock, the community leaders were disappointer with her for approaching the police to file the complaint. They explained that her move has brought a bad name to their village and ordered her to pay up Rs 5000. Her perpetrators were also penalised Rs 5000 each for committing the heinous crime.
“We are poor and are paying the price for approaching the police seeking justice. During the meeting, they put my family and me under pressure to withdraw our complaint. But we were left with no option”, said the hapless girl.
“The youths paid the punitive fine immediately after the meeting got over but we belonging to the poor family couldn’t arrange the money,” said the mother of the victim. The girl again went to the police after which they registered an FIR after 12 days of the incident.
The girl claimed that had the police registered her complaint earlier, this situation would not have raised.
The police have, however, denied her charges. “She contacted the women cell in the thana only after 10 days. Then also she didn’t lodge any report. Later we recorded the case of rape against the two accused following her complaint. An investigation is on,” said Lakshman Prasad Dhruve, the Kotwali police station in-charge.
The village community leaders who organised the meeting are not willing to speak on the issue.