Injustice : Inhuman treatment of a rape victim by a demented Panchayat



Injustice : Inhuman treatment of a rape victim by a demented Panchayat

This is another case of gross violation of human rights by a demented panchayat, convened on religious lines. There have been cases where panchayats convened on caste lines have decreed even killing of couples, simply because the boy and the girl belonged to different castes or belonged to the same Gotra.

These evil practices must be ended immediately.

It is the lack of political will that allows such inhuman actions.

Woman punished after being raped

Rapist father-in-law in UP is let off by panchayat after ‘fine’ of Rs 5,000 in rerun of the Imrana case

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow

MEHRUNNISSA, 30, had to face the extreme agony of being raped by her father-in-law. But days after the tragic incident, she was subjected to humiliation by her village panchayat when she went to them for justice —they punished her for getting raped. The panchayat of Bairiyawan village in Gorakhpur’s Barhalganj tehsil said Mehrunnissa (not her true name) was “guilty of being raped” and decided on apunishment as well.

They ruled that the victim’s husband, who was away in Dubai when the incident took place, must “divorce” her and she was to be sent to her parents’ home in Ghosi village of Mau district. Her father- in- law, 58- year- old Mohammad Ramzan Ali, however, has walked away afree man. Instead of reporting his crime to the police, the village elders ruled he could wash away his sin by paying Rs 5,000 to the panchayat.

Elders rule husband must ‘divorce’ victim
The crime, if there was one, had been committed by Mehrunnissa herself, the village panchayat said. Mohammad Siddiqi, head of the village panchayat, justified the decision. “The decision was taken by six members of the panchayat in the light of the Shariat. Knowingly or unknowingly, Mehrunnissa, by her physical appearance, provoked her father- in- law to sexually assault her.

This was acrime and she must be punished,” said Siddiqi He claimed Ramzan Ali had confessed to raping the woman and had been adequately punished. “Don’t think he has been spared. We have imposed afine of Rs 5,000 on him and told him to pay it within amonth,” Siddiqi said. Clearly, the rapist feels his punishment is too harsh.

He is said to be haggling with the panchayat on the fine. Ramzan Ali also declared he is not bound by the panchayat’s orders. “The charges against me are false. My son lives in Dubai and she lived in my house. Itold the panchayat that she was a wayward woman. Ihave seen her talking to astranger,” he said.

When local journalists contacted Mehrunnissa in Ghosi – where she has now been forced to go, she said: “The stranger he is talking about is avegetable vendor. The villagers buy vegetables from him every day.”

Mehrunnissa had been married to Mohammad Abdul Rashid, 32, for two years. The couple have no children. Ayear ago, Rashid went to Dubai to work as alabourer. When he returned last week, his wife told him about the rape. The couple approached the panchayat, and Rashid pleaded repeatedly that he had nothing against his wife and they could still lead anormal life. But the panchayat’s order was firm:

Abandon your wife and send her to her parents’ house. “Iwork in Dubai. On my return last week, my wife told me about her ordeal and we decided to take the help of village elders before registering any police complaint.

But the panchayat told me I’d be thrown out of the village if the police were called. Iwas also told that according to the Shariat, my wife could not live with me. Iknow she can still come back to me after getting married to someone else and divorcing him. But the panchayat said she didn’t deserve to be my wife.” It turns out that Rashid never meant any of that. He now wants to begin life anew, with another woman. He wants no more trouble.

Sometime on Wednesday, Rashid and his father quietly left the village after locking their house. The police said they weren’t aware of the incident.

“Action will be taken only after we receive acomplaint,” said Piyush Mordia, SSP, Gorakhpur. Mehrunnissa’s heart- rending story has an echo in the tragic tale of Imrana, awoman from Muzaffarnagar in UP who suffered asimilar ordeal in June 2005.

The wife of Noor Ilahi, a rickshaw puller and part- time brick kiln worker, Imrana too was raped by her father- in- law and then instructed by the village panchayat to cut off ties with her husband.
piyush. srivastava @mailtoday. in