Police have arrested the woman whose alleged molestation triggered a chain of events leading to the retaliatory rape of a minor in Bokaro district on July 7.
The woman was arrested on Sunday for allegedly instigating her husband to rape the 14-year-old, whose brother had earlier made an attempt to rape her. She has been booked under section 109 of the IPC and 17 of the POCSO Act, both for abetment, and is currently in judicial custody.
The case is set to throw up new legal questions as most of the villagers had watched the minor girl being dragged by the woman’s husband to the site of the rape, but they refused to act; and now the woman — the alleged victim of sexual harassment — has also been arrested.
The woman, in her early 20s, is a mother of two. Her father Ghosal Pasi, who is the caste head of Gulgulia Dhora, and husband Nakabandi were earlier arrested — Nakabandi for the rape of the minor and Ghosal for sanctioning Nakabandi’s demand that he be allowed to rape the girl.
The latest arrest comes after the minor girl explained to the police the woman’s role in her assault. “The wife caught hold of my daughter’s hair, dragged, handed her to her husband and told him to seek revenge as my son had taken her honour,” the girl’s father had told this newspaper last week.
The girl’s brother Harender Pasi’s alleged attempt to rape the woman on the night of July 6 began the chain of events that culminated in Harender’s younger sister being raped by the woman’s husband Nakabandi the next day.
Harender too has been arrested for attempting to rape Nakabandi’s wife.
When this newspaper had met the woman in her hamlet last week, she had admitted that her husband had raped the girl but claimed both herself as well as her father Ghosal were not aware of Nakabandi’s actions. “Harender came into my house at 12 in the night on Sunday and tried to rape me. He forcefully tried to disrobe me and had a knife with him,” she had said. She added that her husband had been sleeping outside the house at the time.
“Harender ran away when I started screaming. I told my husband what he had done. The next day, when the girl was walking towards the village after collecting water, my husband caught hold of her, took her into the forest and raped her,” she had told this newspaper.