A former sarpanch and his wife allegedly thrashed an on-duty woman forest guard, who is three months pregnant, along with her husband at a village in Satara district of Maharashtra, following which the accused couple has been arrested, police said on Thursday.
The incident took place on Wednesday at Palsawade village in the western Maharashtra district, located around 120 kms from here, and a complaint in this connection was lodged by the woman forest guard, they said.
According to police, the accused man, Ramchandra Jankar, who is president of the village forest management committee, was angry with the woman forest guard for taking the contractual forest labourers along with her ”without his permission”.
A video of the assault incident has gone viral on social media. Sharing the video on his Twitter handle on Thursday, Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray said, ”The accused has been arrested this morning and will face the law at its strictest. Such acts will not be tolerated.”
Satara Superintendent of Police (SP) Ajay Kumar Bansal said the accused is a former sarpanch of the village and president of the local forest management committee. ”He and his wife allegedly beat up the woman forest guard, who is three months pregnant, as the accused was angry over the guard taking the contractual forest labourers along with her without his permission,” he said.
A case has been registered against the duo at Satara taluka police station, he said.
”Since the forest guard is pregnant, a medical examination of her foetus will be carried out. If the foetus is found harmed, then relevant sections of the law will be slapped against the accused,” he said.
Talking to reporters, the woman said that her husband, who is also a forest guard, was also beaten up by the couple.
She alleged that the accused man used to threaten her and demand money from her. ”Two days ago also, he had threatened me. On Wednesday when we were patrolling, he and his wife confronted me and started abusing and assaulting me. My husband was also beaten up with chappals (footwear) by the accused,” she said.
Senior inspector V Ghodake of Satara taluka police station said a case has been registered against Jankar and his wife under section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty ) and other relevant sections of the IPC.