A 35-year-old woman shot herself on Tuesday, allegedly after a village panchayat in Agra district gave a clean chit to a man accused of molesting her, police said Wednesday.
The victim was allegedly molested on the intervening night of December 29 and 30. A village panchayat, held a day later on December 31, allegedly ordered her family to reach a compromise, following which the woman shot herself dead with her husband’s licensed gun, police said.
An FIR, under IPC sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 354 (assault against woman), has been filed against the accused. He has since been arrested and sent to judicial custody, police said. The police are also on the lookout for members of the panchayat for their alleged role in the abetment to suicide. According to the police, some of the villagers who participated in the panchayat were on the run.
“A day after the woman was allegedly molested, her husband approached us and said they will file a complaint (in the matter). We later received information that a panchayat had been held in the village where a compromise was reached. A team of police had also been deployed to contain a possible law and order situation. The next day, the woman shot herself with her husband’s licensed gun,” Akhilesh N Singh, Superintendent of Police (West), Agra district, said.
He said the accused had confessed to the crime and police were trying to identify the people who participated in the panchayat.
According to Station House Officer Girish Chandra Gautam, the accused was “waiting for an opportunity to catch her alone”.
According to a relative of the victim, the protection provided to the accused, allegedly at the behest of villagers, was what made the woman take her life.
“On the intervening night of December 29 and 30, the accused had forcibly taken her to a field,” the relative claimed. The accused also used to send the woman lewd messages on her mobile phone, the victim’s family claimed.