14-Year-Old Girl Raped On Village Council's Orders In Revenge For Brother's Crime

A teenage girl in the eastern India has been raped in apparent revenge for an alleged assault on another woman.

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A 14-year-old girl was dragged into a forest and raped on the orders of a village council in remote eastern India in retaliation for a sex assault blamed on her brother

A woman protests the rape of a 5-year-old Indian girl neighbors discovered after she was heard screaming in a locked room

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The girl’s brother had been accused of trying to assault another woman. The girl alleges that the man police describe as the village of Swang’s unelected headman decided that the husband of the woman her brother allegedly harassed, a man named Birju Pasi, should be allowed to rape her as punishment for her brother’s alleged actions, according to police.

The attack took place after midnight on Sunday in a small village in Jharkhand state's Bokaro district.

After Monday’s alleged attack, Mr. Gupta said, the girl arrived along with her father at a nearby police station. “Her clothes were smeared with blood,” he said. After recording her statement, police took her to a nearby hospital, he said.

Three people were arrested, including a village head who is accused of approving the alleged rape

Jitendra Singh, a top local police official, said two men have been arrested in the rape case. They include the village headman and the main suspect, identified as the husband of the woman who was allegedly molested by the victim’s brother. The victim’s brother has also been arrested on charges of molestation.

Both Mr. Pasi and the girl’s brother, Harendra Pasi, are in police custody and haven’t been charged, according to Anurag Gupta, a spokesman for the Jharkhand police. Police have also arrested Ghosal Pasi, the informal village chief, and say the investigation is continuing. The shared surname of the men indicates shared caste, not a family relationship.

"This rape happened out of retaliation," Jharkhand police chief Rajiv Kumar told the BBC

"The day before, on 6 July, the wife of the accused was the victim of misbehaviour on the part of the girl's brother. The head of the village was instrumental in provoking this rape on the victim."

The girl was taken to hospital after the attack and has given a statement to the police. Mr Kumar said he had never heard of any case like it on his watch, but this is the the latest in a string of gruesome incidents involving the rape of young girls in India.

The girl's mother said that she pleaded with the council and other villagers when they ordered the rape but no one listened

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“We kept begging them. We begged with folded hands but they would not listen. They dragged her away to the forest,” she said.

Not many villagers are willing to speak on camera, but they say that almost the entire village was witness to the ghastly crime, reported NDTV

Locals say they did not intervene because of the clout of the headman. The police admitted that headman is a very feared man whose word is law in the area.

The case echoes a January incident that stirred a national outcry in which a 20-year-old was allegedly gang-raped by a village chief and 12 men as punishment for dating a man outside her community

In this photograph from May 31, women in New Delhi protested against the alleged rape of two girls in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

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In India, unelected and informal village councils are commonplace, even though they have been deemed illegal by India’s Supreme Court. They are separate from elected village councils, which have local governance roles.

India's efforts to combat crimes against women accelerated after a young girl in late 2012 was gang-raped by six men on a moving bus in New Delhi

That attack triggered a national dialogue on the safety of women in India and led to a sweeping overhaul of harassment laws, including the imposition of the death penalty in some rape cases. In some rural areas of India, though, longstanding traditional social norms still hold sway.

Meanwhile, read how a state minister from Indian PM Narendra Modi's ruling party has described rape

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