India: Village Council Orders Rape of Young Girl
Sunday, July 13, 2014 1:20 PM

A village council in India ordered the rape of a young teenage girl in retaliation for her brother’s alleged crime. Several villagers watched and “turned away their faces” as the girl was taken from her father’s house to the nearby jungle and raped. Local police did not respond immediately to complaints lodged by the girl’s parents, saying there were no witnesses to the rape.

After the assault was widely condemned in India, police inspectors arrested the rapist, Nakabandi Pasi, and the village headman who approved Mr. Pasi’s request to rape the girl in retaliation for her brother’s alleged assault on Mr. Pasi’s wife.  

The victim’s village, Swang Gulgulia Dhora, is a poor and isolated town located in eastern India, in the Bokaro district of Jharkhand. The local police station is more than an hour's walk from the village. Most residents are members of an “untouchable” caste and receive no education. In such remote areas of India, local village councils, or panchayats, “wield great power” and “usually enforce strict social norms about marriage and gender roles.” In January 2014, a West Bengal local council punished a woman with multiple rapes for being seen with a married man not from her village.

Compiled from: Barry, Ellen, Indian Girl’s Rape Called Case of Eye-for-Eye Village Justice, The New York Times (July 12, 2014); Naqvi, Muneeza, Report: Indian Girl Raped On Orders Of Village CouncilAssociated Press and The World Post (July 11, 2014); Govt promises action in rape of minor on panchayat diktat, ZeeNews India (July 11, 2014).