In Bihar, Nitish Kumar’s government may have ensured 50% reservation for women in panchayats, but that seems to have changed little for them on ground.
Recently, two teenage girls’ heads were tonsured and their bother, who opposed the act, beaten up by a panchayat for allegedly indulging indecent acts.
Police on Friday said that the incident took place at Chanurgarh panchayat under Jhanjharpur police station in Madhubani district. Chanurgarh panchayat’s head and its sarpanch are women-headed. The panchayat ordered the ‘shameful punishment’ citing that the two girls sullied the dignity and honour of the village.
The matter highlighted on Friday when police headquarters sought a details report from the Madhubani police. A case had been lodged against 12 persons under the various sections of IPC and POCSO act on the basis of the statements of one of the girl’s father.
Jhanjharpur SDPO Amit Saran said one of the named accused Ali Hasan Sah, 55, who was allegedly heading the panchayat when the girls punished, was arrested and was sent to judicial custody. Raids are on to arrest the others, said the SDPO adding that an inquiry was going on to establish involvement of the mukhiya and sarpanch in the incident.
According to the FIR, the panchayat had also imposed Rs 2 lakh fine on girls for talking with the boys. When victim’s brother resisted, the panchayat members thrashed him mercilessly.
Police said that the teenage girls found talking with a boy in the outskirt of the village. Some villagers spotted them and complained to the panchayat about the alleged affair. The members of the panchayat took serious note of it, calling the act a blot on the prestige of the village.
The villagers then held a panchayat and passed the decree that they should be punished. Accordingly, the girls’ were tonsured and were slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh fine on the family. “I was asked to pay a fine of Rs 2 lakh. When I said I don’t have the money, they tonsured my daughter and niece and threatened them to walk around the village”, said the victim’s father. The incident has sent shockwaves in nearby areas. In-charge Madhubani DM, Durganand Jha directed the police to provide adequate security to the victims’ family.
Jun 15, 2019 03:44 IST