A khap panchayat in Madhya Pradesh blackened the face of a man, ordered him to take a dip in the Ganga, perform a ‘hawan ‘ and feed priests to ‘pardon’ his crime of raping his minor daughter in drunken state.
t was only after the woman sarpanch – unsatisfied with the decision of elders from 12 villages who had convened the khap at a village in Tikamgarh district – decided to approach police that the matter came to light.
The man had allegedly raped his 14-year-old daughter when his wife was not at home on April 26, the sarpanch’s husband Rajkumar Sahu said.
Word spread among the people, including the elders, after the girl confided to her aunt about her tragedy. On May 2, the elders convened a meeting in which the girl told them about the depravity of her drunk father. The elders ordered that the man’s face be blackened and he should be beaten by his wife.
After this, the man was told to leave for Allahabad to take a holy dip in the Ganga and tonsure his head. When he returned on May 9, the elders met again and ordered the man perform ‘hawan’ (a ritual) and organise a feast for Brahmin priests to exonerate himself.
“When all these incidents unfolded, I was not in the village. When I returned, my wife told me that we should complain to police as she felt that such a father should get strict punishment according to law and should not be forgiven merely after performing rituals. So, I on behalf of my wife approached police so that action be taken against him,” Sahu said.
Prithvipur sub-divisional officer of police (SDOP), Rakesh Pantro told HT that police had received a complaint from the village sarpanch through her husband.
“A police team has been sent to the village for investigation. So far, villagers have not told us anything about the incident, about the meetings of the elders and the orders given to the father. We are investigating the matter,” he said.