The panchayat of Rajgarh district’s Dungarpur village in Madhya Pradesh apparently ordered the father of a minor rape survivor to organize a non-vegetarian dinner for the entire village to ‘purify’ the girl.
The girl was allegedly raped recently in the village by a lower-caste man. The father of the survivor claims that the panchayat declared them as an outcast after he failed to host the dinner and follow the panchayat’s order of purifying her in the first week of February.
“Until feast is organized we won’t be included in the cast and village,” said the father of the 17-year-old girl who was raped. He also told the media that the 17-year-old girl was raped by a youth from the same village in January. Despite the fact that the accused was arrested and sent to jail, the victim’s family was ostracised.
“They are asking for ‘Bhandara (community feast)’ but I don’t have money. They don’t invite us for any function. If I don’t get support, I won’t survive,” the father was quoted by NDTV. The panchayat said that because the accused is from a lower caste, they need to purify his daughter.
While the Panchayat had ostracised the family right after the girl was allegedly raped by a lower-caste man, it accepted to take them back but only after the father hosted a non-vegetarian dinner for the entire village.
MP: Father of a 17-yr-old rape survivor alleges that village Panchayat in Rajgarh Dist declared them an outcast after he failed to follow its diktat to organise a community feast that would 'purify' her, says, "Until feast is organised we won't be included in the cast & village." pic.twitter.com/bTrcj0pt3a
— ANI (@ANI) June 15, 2019
First Post reported that the village heads issued a letter stating the diktat to the girl’s father and took his signature on it. The letter states that the girl’s father agreed to conduct the Bhandara. Between 150 and 200 villagers, including those from nearby villages, also signed the letter, supporting the order that the family would face boycott till they organise the feast.
After this, no one invited the family in their events and ceremonies. When the girl’s father hosted a function, nobody turned up. They did not even accept the invitation card.
“The father of the girl complained in January that the Panchayat had declared them outcast until they organize a feast with non-veg food. Police have questioned the villagers, nothing of the sort has come to fore,” Additional Superintendent of Police (Ad. DySP) Nawal Singh Sisodia said, NDTV reported.
Madhya Pradesh: Police says, "The incident occurred in January. The father of the girl complained that the Panchyat had declared them outcast until they organise a feast with non-veg food. Police has questioned the villagers, nothing of the sort has come to fore, probe underway" pic.twitter.com/VxIUlZSKm7
— ANI (@ANI) June 15, 2019
After the involvement of police in the case, the village people withdrew the demand of the non-vegetarian dinner and settled for a Satyanarayan Katha.
The father of the girl complained in January that the Panchayat had declared them outcast until they organize a feast with non-veg food. Police have questioned the villagers, nothing of the sort has come to fore- Police
The family of the girl filed a complaint when she was allegedly raped in January and the accused was arrested eight days after the complaint was filed. The news of the rape spread and the village heads believed that since the news of rape is public now, the father will have to do a “public penance” and unanimously decided that a Bhandara needs to be organized.
Women and Child Development Officer Chandrasena Bhide said she would speak with the superintendent of police and everyone involved in victimizing the survivor’s family are brought to book, Firstpost reported.