Bihar panchayat meets to hush up gang rape of minor, ends up identifying culprits
The victim had no idea about the identity of the persons who had forced themselves upon her but she immediately recognized them at the panchayat meeting, to which the culprits were called for negotiations.india Updated: Oct 02, 2017 20:32 IST
The police in Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar have constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to nab four youths, who are accused of gang rape of a minor girl in the Katra police station area, on Friday, making a video clip of the act and posting it on the web.
Police said the incident took place after the 14-year-old girl was abducted by the four youths when she was returning from a Dussehra fair. Thereafter, they pounced upon her, shot the crime on their mobile phones and uploaded the video clip on internet sites.
The police have registered an FIR on the basis of the statement of the victim’s family, against seven persons, including four youths.
Bihar director general of police (DGP) PK Thakur said Manju Jha, IG (weaker sections), under the crime investigation department, would monitor the case. “The culprits will be caught soon”, he added.
Sources said a meeting of the panchayat of the village at which the the incident occurred, around 70 km from the district headquarters town of Muzaffarpur, was convened on Saturday allegedly to ‘hush up’ the matter.
But the meeting, instead, ended up revealing the identity of the culprits. “The girl, as well as, her family members and the four accused were also called to the meeting to negotiate a settlement and bury the matter after handing out minor punishment to the accused.
“The victim had no idea about the identity of the persons who had forced themselves upon her but she immediately recognized them at the panchayat meeting, to which the culprits were called to negotiate a settlement. As such, the identities of the rapists were revealed”, said a source familiar with the developments.
Unhappy with the way a sensitive issue such as rape was being handled in a ‘trivial’ manner, I person present at the meeting informed the police. But before the police could arrive, the panchayat meeting was abruptly called off and the participants including the four accused fled.
“It was a classic case of a move backfiring. The panchayat meeting had been called to suppress the matter, but it ended up exposing the real perpetrators without any effort of the police,” said a police officer, who was hopeful of an early arrest of the culprits.
Muzaffarpur senior SP Vivek Kumar said the medical examination of the girl had been conducted by a five member medical board and its report was awaited. “Her statement under section 164 of CrPC has also been recorded before a judicial magistrate”, he added.
The police SIT is headed by Gaurav Pandey, DSP (east) and search is on for the culprits,” the SSP said, adding, that six persons related to the accused had been detained to ascertain their whereabouts.
National commission for women member Sushma Sahu said the police should act promptly in the case to ensure justice for the victim. Former Bihar CM Rabri Devi said the accused must be arrested immediately and steps taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.