The father of a 16-year-old rape survivor in Madhya Pradesh’s Rajgarh said that after the incident, the village panchayat with many villagers in tow, asked the family to hold a feast for the village in order to ‘purify’ his daughter, reported NDTV.
“They said the accused is from a lower caste, so they need to purify my daughter.”The rape survivor’s father
However, the district administration said that the initial investigations did not support the father's allegations and none of the villagers were involved, according to NDTV.
“They are asking for a bhandara (feast) but I don't have money. They don't invite us for any function... they don't talk to us. If I don't get support, I won't survive,” the father said.
In January 2019, the girl was on her way home when she was waylaid and raped. The accused was arrested and is in judicial custody.
Following the alleged diktat from the village panchayat, the family lodged a complaint on Thursday, 13 June, with Women & Child Development (WCD) officials, reported NDTV.
“The rape survivor, along with her mother, filed a complaint seeking action against the panchayat for ordering their ostracism for not entertaining the locals with a community feast in order to purify her,” said an official.
The local police acknowledged that a complaint had been filed but claimed that upon visiting the village, officials found that a “mutually decided” ceremony had been organised.
“When the team comprising WCD, revenue and police went to the village and inquired, they found they (villagers) mutually decided to organise a religious ceremony and distribute prasad after that.”NS Sisodia, Rajgarh police officer
Earlier this week, on Tuesday, 11 June evening, an 8-year-old girl was raped by two minors in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli district. The two accused are in custody.
(With inputs from NDTV)