Jharkhand woman allegedly raped at gunpoint by lender over pending loan payment

No police action was taken for 25 days, despite a complaint from the survivor's family. The accused was finally arrested late on Saturday night, following intervention from senior police officials.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.Express illustrations

RANCHI: A Dalit woman in Jharkhand's Chatra district was allegedly raped at gunpoint by her lender following a dispute over the repayment of a Rs 25,000 loan she had borrowed from the accused.

The incident took place in Gadia village in Chatra and despite the survivor's family lodging a complaint at a Mahila Thana, no action was taken for 25 days. The accused was finally arrested late on Saturday night, following the intervention of senior police officials.

According to the survivor, she had borrowed Rs 25,000 from the village strongman, Baljeet Yadav and was repaying it gradually in small installments. However, he began pressuring her to provide her mobile number, which she refused to give despite making assurances to return the loan in small amounts.

The woman stated that whenever the accused encountered her in the village, he would stop his vehicle and persistently ask for her number. She mentioned that she offered to provide her husband’s number instead, but Baljeet forcefully took her number, threatening to harm her husband. After obtaining her number, he began calling her repeatedly.

When she repeatedly disconnected his calls, he visited her home.

She added that the accused had been harassing her under the guise of loan repayment and had been following her since May 13.

And on the evening of May 18, Baljeet forcefully entered her house, demanding repayment of the loan. Upon entering, he held the victim at gunpoint and raped her, she said.

The woman added that the accused warned her of severe consequences if she reported the incident to the police. "Despite my protests, he held me captive at gunpoint and raped me. After the rape, Baljeet, while leaving the house, said that if I raise a hue and cry, he will kill me and my entire family," she said.

The woman stated that she had filed a complaint at a women's police station on May 22, but the case was not registered.

Again, on June 13, she visited the police station to inquire about the status of her case, but she was rebuked and turned away. Following this, she submitted an application to the office of the Superintendent of Police.

The superintendent intervened and registered a case, leading to the arrest of the accused late on Saturday night.

"The accused was arrested late in the night on Saturday. Due to some lapses at the level of the local police station, the arrest was delayed,” said the Sadar SDPO Sandeep Suman.

Action is being taken against the officer in charge of the concerned police station, he added.

The SDPO further added that the accused has already been forwarded before the court and the statement of the victim has also been recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC.

The woman has accused him of raping her for not being able to repay the loan amount, which is still under investigation, he said.

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