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Jul 11, 2014 at 02:54pm IST

Jharkhand: Panchayat allegedly orders rape of 14-year-old tribal girl

Bokaro: In a horrific incident, a Panchayat in Bokaro is alleged to have ordered the rape of a 14-year-old tribal girl.

The minor girl's family claimed that the teenager was allegedly raped because her brother had been accused of misbehaving with a female neighbour. They said that the panchayat instructed some youngsters in the area to rape the girl in order to take revenge.

Police have arrested three accused and are interrogating them to know the details about the incident. Bokaro SP, Jitendra Singh said, "Three people have been arrested and sent to jail. Legal procedure have been taken up. We are doing sort of a compensation to the victim. We have already done through investigation and don't expect more details to come."

"We are doing all that we can. We have captured the culprit. We will give him the necessary punishment. The reason for the crime is probably infighting within the community," added Manoj Rai, DSP, Bokaro.

Expressing anguish over the incident, National Commission for Women member Shamina Shafiq said that the panel would take up the case if needed, adding that action should be taken against such local bodies for these diktats.

"These regional panchayats which do injustice to women.. action should be taken in such matters. Inhuman things are happening this way. Why does not the district administrations create swareness amongst people of these things. They know it all.

NCPCR should come first in it as it's the matter of a girl child. Day by day crime against children are increasing as they are more vulnerable. If they will not take any actions then NCW will get involved in this," she said.

The issue was taken up in the Rajya Sabha too and the government vowed action against the culprit. The entire House demanded stringent punishment to the culprits, forcing the government to promise necessary action.

"Necessary action will be initiated in the serious matter after taking up the issue with the Prime Minister," Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot said as the entire House condemned the incident and demanded an action taken report on the issue.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Prabhat Jha (BJP) said heads should hang in shame over the incident, alleging that the head of a panchayat issued a diktat for raping the girl in broad day-light, with the entire village remaining a mute spectator.

He said the girl was dragged to the forest and raped but none could come to her rescue while the hapless father and mother of the victim had to face much difficulty in lodging the complaint with the local police station as the police said

there was no witness.

"I appeal to the government of India to ensure justice to her. This kind of incidents cannot happen in India...strict action is needed," Jha said, as members cutting across party lines shouted "shame, shame".

JDU leader Ali Anwar, meanwhile, has demanded death for the accused. "This is a very serious offence. The offender should get a harsh punishment. I suggest he should be given the death. This is a terrible incident and a very serious crime," he said.

This is not the first time that a village council has participated in such a horrific crime. In West Bengal's Birbhum district, a 20-year-old woman was gangraped by 13 men on the orders of the village panchayat.

(With inputs from PTI)