Panchayats pardon man who attempted rape

In yet another bizarre decision, a community panchayat in UP’s Muzaffarnagar district, about 450 km from here, pardoned a 60-year old man, who had allegedly tried to rape a seven-year-old girl a few days ago.

The pardon by the community panchayat came during a meeting of the ‘panchs” (members of the panchayat) held on Saturday after the rape accused, a shopkeeper, promised to do religious service for a period of one year, reports said.

Incidentally, the decision of the panchayat was recorded in black and white and the   accused and the family of the girl put their signatures on the document, according to reports.

Sixty-year-old Noor Mohammad had tried to lure a seven-year-old girl and commit rape a few days ago at Quazian town in the district. He could not succeed after the little girl’s shouts for help were heard by the locals. The irate locals later damaged Noor Mohammad’s shop.

Although Noor had fled from the town, a report was lodged by the parents of the girls in this regard with the police.

On Saturday, however, the community panchayat members held a long meeting in which the accused was also present.

“The accused tendered an unconditional written apology and also promised to undertake a year long journey for religious preaching and mend his ways,” reports said.

“Noor’s apology was accepted by the girl’s family and other members and he was let off...the police were also informed about the decision of the panchayat,” ‘’reports added.
In the past, the panchayats had let-off those accused of rape after they promised to go on pilgrimage and also at times after a few shoe lashes.

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