In what can be termed as a brazen disregard to a woman’s dignity, a group of “elders” in a village in Telangana let off a man who raped a minor girl and impregnated her.
The punishment awarded to the accused by these self-appointed judges was a “compensation” of Rs 2.50 lakh to the girl’s family, along with banishment from the village.
The matter pertains to Mahbubnagar district of Telangana.
Taking cognisance of the matter, police have arrested four of the six “elders” who mediated between the accused and the girl’s family. Police say the arrested people even asked the girl’s family to remain silent about the assault.
The shocking case came to light on August 1. The girl’s family came to know about the assault when her mother noticed physical changes in her body. She then took her for a medical examination, following which the pregnancy was discovered.
Speaking to news agency PTI, inspector M Krishnaiah said the four “elders” and the accused have been arrested and were presented before a local court, which has sent them to judicial custody.
Police have registered a case under various sections of the India Penal Code, including Section 376 (rape), and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Speaking about the matter, the police told PTI that the victim is a 17-year-old girl. She used to help her mother who works as a farm labourer.
The accused, Venkataiah, is the owner of the fields where they worked. It is alleged that he developed physical relations with the minor girl by promising to marry her. She later became pregnant.
When the pregnancy was revealed, some villagers offered to mediate between the girl’s family and the accused. Police said the villagers offered a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh (to be paid by the accused) if the girl’s parents remained silent about the matter.
However, police came to know about the incident, registered a case and arrested five people.
(With inputs from PTI)