A panchayat in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh in a bizarre directive has asked a rape survivor to beat up the accused with shoes after he refused to pay the Rs 5 lakh fine imposed by it.
Two men had allegedly gang-raped the girl in Todalpur village in the district on December 19.
The panchayat asked the accused to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh. When one of them refused to pay the money, the panchayat asked the victim to smear his face with ink and beat him up with shoes.
Police said the matter came to light only after local media reported the incident.
"Action will be taken on the basis of evidence in this case, irrespective of what the panchayat decides. We will identify the culprits and take stringent action against them," Hapur additional superintendent of police O P Singh said.
Reacting to the incident, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said, "There was a complaint that two persons tried to rape a woman in Hapur. The first information report was registered and two persons who have been named in the complaint are absconding as of now. They will not be spared."
He also said that there would be no settlement based on what the panchayat has said.
"On behalf of the government, we just wish to state that action will be taken against the accused persons as per law and no diktat of the panchayat will prevail. Anyone who tries to illegally give directions to the family members of the complainant or the complainant herself, action will be also taken against them," he said.