While we are encouraging women to stop suffering in silence and start raising their voices against abuse, a Panchayat in Chhattisgarh village fined a rape survivor for reporting the matter to police.
In a shocking incident, members of Panchayat in Chhattisgarh’s Jashpur district have asked the rape survivor to pay the fine of Rs. 5000. As per the Panchayat, she “brought disrepute to the village” as she should have accepted ‘their justice’.
On November 4, the woman went to her relative’s house as she had a quarrel with her brother. Two men – Sandeep and Kishore – who were familiar with the matter, promised her work and asked her to come to a construction site the next day. When she reached the site, both men took turns to rape her. They even warned her of the dire consequences if she complains to anyone.
As per the ToI report:
“But once home, the survivor immediately informed her mother. She says they went to the police station to file a complaint. According to the cops, they only narrated what had happened. Asked to file a formal complaint, they seemed to hesitate and left, saying they will come back and do so.”
About 10 days later as the news of the gang-rape spread, the panchayat members called a meeting to discuss the matter. When the survivor gathered the courage to narrate her ordeal in public, Panchayat decided to fine both Kishore and Sandeep Rs 5,000 each.
If the punishment of fine Rs. 5000 made you angry, then what Panchayat did next would definitely break your heart. The panchayat called out the rape survivor an equal culprit “because she chose police over panchayat”. The so-called justice providers declared that by approaching police, the rape survivor has tarnished the image of their village, hence should be fined.
As per the report, the survivor underwent a mental shock for two days and on November 16, she decided to approach the police and file a written complaint on the gangrape.
Though after filing FIR, both Sandeep and Kishore were arrested, we are still disheartened how society punished this woman for fighting for her right.
At IFORHER, we admire the courage of this 23-year-old, who is fighting against the system for her right. We wish more courageous women not let the authorities silence them, and come forward to raise their voices against their culprits.