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After initial probe officials claimed the father’s allegations were untrue and no villagers were involved
The father of a rape victim in Rajgarh district in Madhya Pradesh has alleged the panchayat declared his daughter an outcast after he failed to follow its diktat and throw a community feast that he was told would “purify my daughter”.
“They said the accused is from a lower caste, so they need to purify my daughter,” he said.
However, the district administration has claimed that initial investigations show the father’s allegations were untrue and none of the villagers were involved.
The 16-year-old victim had been waylaid and raped, while on her way home, by the accused in January. He was later arrested and sent to judicial custody.
“For that they are asking for ‘bhandara (community feast)’ but I don’t have money. They don’t invite us for any function…they don’t talk to us. If I don’t get support, I won’t survive,” the father said.
The young girl’s family lodged a complaint yesterday with local Women and Child Development officials.
“The rape victim, along with her mother, filed a complaint seeking action against the panchayat for ordering their ostracisation for not entertaining the locals with a community feast in order to purify her,” an official said.
The local police chief admitted a complaint had been filed but said that when a team of officials visited the village, they found a “mutually decided” ceremony had been organised.
“They had given the application to the women’s development officer, but when the team comprising of WCD, revenue and police team went to the village and inquired, they found they have mutually decided to organise a religious ceremony and distribute prasad after that,” Additional SP NS Sisodia said.
In another shocking incident in the state this week, an eight-year-old girl from a village in Singrauli district was allegedly raped by two boys.
The two accused, who are also minors, were detained yesterday.
“The girl had gone to bathe at a water body in the village when the two boys sexually assaulted her. On reaching home, she complained about health problems, after which her parents took her to the district hospital,” DSP Abhijeet Ranjan told news agency PTI.
The two accused have been charged under relevant sections of the IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, he added