Minor girl who was gang raped by six men has her head shaved, is paraded through town as punishment
Local leaders reportedly called for the girl to be punished after coming under pressure from the influential family of the accused
In a horrific incident, a young girl was gang-raped in an Indian village before being tonsured and paraded through the streets as punishment.
The child had gone to the toilet when six men abducted her and dragged her to the roof of a municipal building in Gaya district of Bihar on August 14, NDTV reports.
The girl had passed out after being repeatedly raped by the men, authorities said. A villager told her family about the attack before she was rescued and taken home the next day.
Shockingly, the panchayat—a self-governing system followed in Indian villages—called for the girl to be punished instead, allegedly under the influence of the family of the accused.
Following the order, the victim's head was shaved and she was forced to march through the village in a disturbing walk of shame.
The first information report (FIR) of the rape was made at a local police station on Monday, 11 days after the incident.
According to reports, police sprung into action only after the victim's family contacted the top cop in the district Saturday.
At least six people have been arrested in connection with the crime, Officer Niranjana Kumari told reporters. "All the five panchayat members, who held the meeting and ordered the punishment, have been named as accused in the case under the POCSO [Protection of Children from Sexual Offence] Act and have been detained," she said. "Besides, Devlal Yadav, who was identified by the survivor as one of the six accused of the gangrape, has also been detained."
But Ravibhusan, the Officer-Incharge at Mohanpur police station, said the "survivor has so far not been able to identify the rest of the accused in the gangrape case."
“My daughter was in pain and not in a position to walk," the victim's mother told Indian outlet NewsClick. "After we brought her home and consulted a local doctor, she informed me about the incident. She said that she had recognized one of the accused as Devlal Yadav. But when we went to the village panchayat for justice and demanding punishment for accused, they ignored our plea."
"Instead, they decided to punish my daughter under pressure of the accused as they belong to powerful families,” she added.
“Some members of the village panchayat even threatened to kill my daughter if we approach the local police station to complain about the incident," the devastated mother continued. "They were keeping a close watch on us and our movement in the village.”
Dilmani Mishra, who chairs the Bihar Women Commission, said she has requested a report on how the case is being handled. She also asked the Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police to bring all those in the panchayat before the Commission on September 2.