National Commission for Women member Chandramukhi Devi, who Thursday visited the village where a 50-year-old woman was allegedly gangraped and abandoned outside her home in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district, said the incident would not have happened had the woman not stepped out alone in the evening. The victim later died in hospital due to excessive bleeding.
“This is a crime that has shamed humanity, but I would also like to say that women should not, under the influence of anyone, step out untimely,” she said. “I feel had the woman not stepped out in the evening, or one of her children had accompanied her, the incident would not have occurred.”
NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said, “I don’t know how and why the member has said this but women have the right to move on their will whenever and wherever they want to.”
Meanwhile, four days after the incident took place, the local temple priest, the main accused in the case, was arrested from a nearby village in the district late on Thursday, the police said. The two other accused were arrested on Wednesday.
The priest, identified as Satyanand, was hiding in the house of one of his followers in a village from where he was picked up and arrested, PTI reported, quoting District Magistrate Kumar Prashant.
A local resident said the victim was known to visit the temple regularly, but no one could say what had transpired on Sunday. The temple is situated close to the main village road, near a sprawling farm. Satyanand, the local residents said, lived in one of the rooms inside the temple.
Local residents said Satyanand had come to the village around five years ago, and largely kept to himself. “People knew him since many come here from nearby areas. But until this incident, no one really interfered in the temple’s activities or asked much about the priest. We sometimes saw him outside the temple premises, but his visits were limited,” Nandu, a local resident, said.
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