M A I N   N E W S

Price of rape victim’s honour: Rs 35,000 
Fatehabad village head allegedly told victim’s father to take money, hush up case
Sushil Manav/TNS

Khai (Fatehabad), October 14
In what is a grim reminder of society’s insensitivity towards women who have been wronged, the panchayat of Khai village in Fatehabad district of Haryana has declared the “price” of a 13-year-old rape victim’s honour as Rs 35,000.

The police had yesterday arrested 60-year-old Sohan Lal, a vendor who sold fruits outside the victim’s school, for allegedly raping the 13-year-old girl for over five months. Medical examination of the victim has confirmed rape. The doctors would give a final word on her pregnancy after some more tests. The accused was sent to 14-day judicial custody by Ratia Duty Magistrate Parminder Kaur today.

Villagers said Khai panchayat, which met under sarpanch Jai Singh on October 7, mounted pressure on the victim’s father to hush up the matter and told him that pursuing the case would only tarnish his family’s reputation.

After some negotiations, the sarpanch allegedly pronounced his “judgment” and directed the accused to pay Rs 35,000 to the victim’s father for his crime.

Before this, the sarpanch presided over a meeting of the School Management Committee (SMC) of the Government Middle School. The school authorities have shown the door not only to the victim, but also to her two sisters.

“The victim’s father, who had initially demanded Rs 1 lakh, had agreed to the terms of compromise and accepted Rs 35,000 to close the case. I do not know why he changed his mind now,” said sarpanch Jai Singh.

Inquiries by The Tribune revealed that the sarpanch, other panchayat members and even some teachers were of the opinion that continuation of the victim and her sisters in the school would have adverse effect on other girls.

School headmaster Raj Singh said the decision of the SMC was in the interest of the victim and her two sisters, as otherwise, it would have become difficult for them to withstand the taunts of other children.

‘Forced’ compromise

* A fruit vendor was arrested for raping a 13-year-old girl for over five months in Khai village of Fatehabad district

* The village panchayat convened a meeting where sarpanch Jai Singh allegedly mounted pressure on the victim’s father to hush up the matter

* After negotiations, the sarpanch allegedly pronounced his “judgment” and told accused to pay `35,000 to victim’s father

* Fight for justice in Yamunanagar





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