Villagers, who had held a panchayat to "settle the matter" were also arrested

news Crime Sunday, May 08, 2016 - 07:16

 A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by five persons in Adilabad district of Telangana, following which all the five accused, besides 16 villagers, who held a panchayat to "settle" the matter were also arrested on Saturday, police said.

The victim, a 10th class student, had on May 5 lodged a complaint with Madamarri police station, alleging that five persons, who are her neighbours, threatened her and raped her separately since January, 2015, police inspector P Sadaiah said.

The minor girl said that she got impregnated, and the medical examination revealed that she was 25 weeks pregnant, he said.

The accused, identified as Mahendar, his father Laxmaiah, Santosh, Vijay Kumar and Prashant, were arrested, the inspector said.

Sixteen out of 20 villagers, who had held a village panchayat seeking to "settle the matter" concerning the alleged rape were also incarcerated, the official said.

The arrested people were produced before a court and efforts are on to nab the four other villagers who are absconding, he said.

The girl in her complaint said she approached the villagers of Pallemguda of Kasipet mandal of Adilabad district, who held a panchayat over the issue, even as one of the accused came forward to marry her, he said.

Also, she was offered Rs 2.5 lakh (Rs 50,000 each) by the five accused "to settle the matter", though she and her family members lodged a police complaint, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Bellampalli Sub-Division) Ramana Reddy earlier said.

"The villagers, who held the panchayat should have actually informed the police about the matter (of rape). However, it did not happen. Hence, a case under section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of IPC has been registered against the 20 villagers, who organised the panchayat," the DSP had said.

The five persons, aged between 20 and 50 years, were booked on charges of rape and criminal intimidation under relevant sections of IPC besides the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

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