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Shock and tension prevails in Gulgulia village, located about 60 kilometers from Jharkhand's Bokaro district headquarters, after a minor girl was allegedly raped in revenge on the order of the community's head Monday evening.
Police have arrested the community head after local leaders including the mukhiya (village head) mounted pressure on them.
The village located in North Swang panchayat of Gomia block of the district is inhabited by Gulgulias, a maha dalit tribe, whose main avocation is mainly begging and doing menial jobs.
According to police, one Harendra Pasi of the community entered the house of his neighbour Nakabandi Pasi at mid night Sunday night and tried to outrage the modesty of his wife.
The next morning, Nakabandi reported the matter to his father in law and also lodged a complaint with the community head, Ghosal Pasi. The community elders soon held a meeting and under the aegis of Ghoshal ordered that the accused's minor sister be raped to avenge the crime.
The 14-year-old girl was forcibly taken away from her house and raped on Monday evening. Even as the crime was being committed, the villagers did not resist fearing retaliation from Ghoshal.
The village head, Vinod Vishwakarma, too refrained from intervening as he too was threatened with dire consequences if he reacted to the incident. "He is a dominant person in his community," said the mukhia, speaking to HT.
Left with no option, the girl's family members lodged a complaint with the Gomia police. The mukhiya later joined the victim's family and supported them in mounting pressure on the police along with few local leaders.
Police have arrested Harendra Pasi, Nakabandi Pasi and Ghoshal Pasi. The victim's father Munna Pasi, however said on Wednesday that he feared reprisal from Ghosal's supporters.
The villagers later realized that by keeping quiet, they have also become a part of the sinful crime. "We have a tradition of tit for tat in cases of offense but a rape has occurred for the first time," said Sulochna Devi, a local woman.
The medical test on the victim has confirmed rape. Her statement was to be recorded in the court on Wednesday.