Rape victim
Rape victim Image Credit: Gulf News

Patna: A rape victim in Jharkhand state attempted to end her life after a local village court told her to take holy dip in Ganga river, throw a grand feast for the entire village and pay a fine of Rs500,000 to “get rid of the sin”.

Reports said the victim, a resident of Meral block in Jharkhand’s Garhawa district, had gone out for work when she was overpowered by a local youth who raped her. The incident took place some 45 days ago while the victim who is a social health worker had gone on duty.

Soon after the incident, the victim reported the matter to the local police station which arrested the accused and sent him to jail. However, her move brought the biggest trouble in her life later on.

As she reported the case to the police station, the local police began frequenting her home and it was then that her neighbours came to know about the incident. The revelation soon spread like a wildfire as a village court was hurriedly held over the issue.

The village court told the victim to immediately rush to Varanasi, a religious city in Indian’s Uttar Pradesh state, take a holy dip in river Ganga and then throw a grand feast for the entire village, reports said.

She followed the diktat but her social boycott continued. On January 20, a village court was again held over the issue and this time the court told her to pay a fine of Rs500,000 and also quit the job of health worker.

Reports said the diktat shocked her so much so that she consumed poison to end her life on Sunday. However, her life was saved as she was rushed to the local hospital on time by her in-laws. Police said they are investigating the case. “We are investigating the case and action will be taken very soon,” a local deputy superintendent of police, Garhawa, Sandeep Kumar Gupta told the media on Thursday.

Almost similar incident had taken place in Bihar’s Jamui district where a rape victim was slapped with a fine of Rs31,000 by the village court in September 2017. The court also had threatened that the victim would be made to wear a garland of shoes and paraded through the streets if the fine was not deposited with the court soon. Subsequently, the victim’s father reported the matter to the local police and it was only then that the entire story came to light.

Incidents of rape have become a matter of serious concern in twin states of Bihar and Jharkhand, and despite all efforts by the government, they refuse to come down.