Police in India are investigating the alleged kidnapping and rape of a girl who was burned after her parents complained to the local village council for justice.
The incident is said to have occurred in a rural village in India's northeastern state of Jharkhand. The police said on Saturday that they are waiting for a medical examination to do an autopsy of the girl's body.
After the parents reported the case to the police, 15 of the 20 defendants were arrested, said Jitendra Kumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner of the State of Chatra. The head of the village council is also in custody, Singh said.
"We are waiting for the results of the medical reports and the police investigation report to come to a conclusion," Singh told CNN.
One-year-old girl was allegedly abducted Thursday night while the family attended a wedding, then taken to a nearby forest and raped by a group of men, reports Ashok Ram, the officer in charge of the Itkhori police station, who oversea the village [1
Village councils in India, called panchayats, exercise significant power in rural villages throughout India and can be punished. The Panchayats, who have been removed from cities and court systems, solve local disputes simply because they are the only way out in remote areas. Critics condemn them as kangaroo courts and say that they uphold patriarchy. These councils have no legal authority.
The Village Council ordered the accused men to do 100 situps and imposed a fine of 50,000 rupees ($ 750), Ram said.
The men were furious with the punishment, Ram said. They attacked the victim's parents and set fire to their home with the help of friends, Ram said. The girl died in the fire, he said.
Raghubar Das, the chief minister of the state of Jharkhand, tweeted that he had broken down by the incident.
"In a civilized society, there is no place for such barbaric acts," he said.
Chain of Rape
The incident comes amidst a series of brutal rape cases that have shocked the South Asian nation and sparked widespread protests
The gang was raped and killed earlier this year An eight-year-old Muslim girl in Jammu and Kashmir, northern India, inflamed religious tensions [April] In April, Surat, Gujarat, found the body of a young girl suspected of It was about 11 years old and the official autopsy report revealed that she had injuries consistent with rape, torture and strangulation.
In January, a series of five alleged rapes, mostly of minors, provoked in North Indian within five days State of Haryana a we it spread condemnation.
The cases have revived public outrage over sexual violence, which first came into the limelight in 2012, when the gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in New Delhi made global headlines. The girl, widely known as Nirbhaya – meaning "fearless" in Hindi – was so badly injured that some internal organs had to be removed, and she died two weeks after the attack.
In the months following their death, the government passed numerous legislative reforms to increase punishments for sexual violence, including the extension of prison sentences and the introduction of the death penalty.
Last month, India's Cabinet issued a rape order for a girl under the age of 12 The amendment will become permanent as soon as it receives approval from the Indian Parliament, which is currently in the niche.