The village that the Delhi child rape accused, Manoj Sah, hails from has imposed a social boycott on him and his family, panchayat members of Bharthua in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district told The Hindu over phone on Saturday.
The decision was a unanimous one and all the panchayat members felt Manoj’s family “should have led him in the right direction,” mukhiya (chief) Lal Babu Rai said.
Manoj, in his twenties, was arrested by the Delhi Police from his in-law’s house at Chiknouta village in the same district around 2 a.m earlier in the day.
Manoj’s parents, Mr. Rai said, lived in Delhi, where his father Bindeshwar Rai runs a juice and snack stall. His mother left the village on Friday, he added. However, Manoj’s grandparents, who own a small piece of land in the village, have been exempted from the boycott after his grandfather, who attended the panchayat meeting, told the gathering that he had severed relations with his grandson.
“He said he would not be upset if Manoj was hanged. On the contrary, he would be at peace.”
“We called a meeting, because this is such a heinous incident. The panchayat condemned it. Even if he is released on bail or the court gives him a light sentence, we would not let him step into the village or live here. It is such a shameful thing for the village, which has a rich history,” Mr. Rai said.
“The panchayat felt that even the death sentence would not be enough for him,” another member, Kamlesh, who assisted the police told, The Hindu.
Both Mr. Rai and Kamlesh said Manoj was already a hated figure in the village because three years ago he tried to “rob the son of a local teacher of an attaché case and knifed him.” The mukhiya added that a few years ago during Holi the villagers had to intervene when Manoj beat up his grandfather.
Meanwhile, Manoj was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate and his transit remand was sought, Deputy Inspector General Amrit Raj told The Hindu. A medical examination was also conducted on the directions of the court. He was taken by road to the Patna airport in a police escort vehicle, from where he was flown to Delhi at 3.15 p.m., Patna Superintendent of Police Jayant Kant said.
When Manoj was brought to Patna around noon, the police faced irate protesters from the Aam Aadmi Party and India Against Corruption at the airport. They demanded that the police hand over the accused to them. They demanded that the death penalty be given to rapists and called for the resignation of Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
‘Blot on humanity’
Demanding the strictest punishment for the accused, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the Delhi rape case “shames humanity.”
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the incident was “a blot on humanity.”
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad also condemned the incident and raised concern at the increase in crimes against women.