A panchayat in a village in Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh has imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 on the family of a minor girl who had allegedly been raped by the sarpanch's brother.
The 16-year-old student of class 10 had told her grandparents---her parents work in Delhi as labourers---that the accused, Gulab, abducted her when she was returning home from school on July 31, in Harpura village of the district.
The girl had alleged the accused took her to a field and raped her. He also threatened her with dire consequences if she revealed anything about the crime, the girl had said.
Her grandparents reported the matter to the police, who "advised" them to try to resolve it in consultation with the local panchayat.
The girl's family then consulted the local elders and decided against filing a complaint with the police.
On August 6, the panchayat convened and called the families of the girl and the accused. It was learnt the panchayat, after hearing both sides, asked the family of the accused to pay Rs. 30,000 to the girl's family.
But bizarrely, the panchayat also slapped a fine of Rs. 10,000 on the girl's family without explaining the reason for the punishment.
After the diktat, the girl's family again approached the police. Town inspector ZY Khan said a case of rape has been registered against Gulab who is still at large.
The police officer, however, did not comment on the imposition of fine on the girl's family, saying he was not aware of it.