March 24, 2023

The Bihar

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Panchayat raj: Three gang-rape suspects let off with Rs 15,000 fine in Samastipur

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The parents of a gang-raped girl in Bihar’s Samastipur district were forced to approach the local child protection unit (CPU) after a village panchayat let the three people allegedly involved in the crime off with a paltry fine of Rs 15,000.

A previous trip to the local women’s police station had gone in vain. The CPU, however, took instant cognisance of the case and forwarded it to the superintendent of police concerned for a thorough investigation.

CPU chairman Tejpal Singh has also issued summons to the three suspects involved.

Singh said the matter was brought to his notice earlier this week. “Although they approached the women’s police station on January 18, no case was filed.”

The 15-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped in the Baini police outpost area on May 15 last year. “The family reported the crime to the village panchayat afterwards, but were told to hush up for the sake of the village’s reputation,” said Singh.

However, matters came to a head when the girl was found to be pregnant. “Her family approached the panchayat again on December 20, following which the suspects were told to pay Rs 5,000 each as abortion fee. They agreed, but did not cough up the money even after the medical procedure was completed,” the CPU chairman said.

Women police station SHO Nilima Kumari denied turning away the girl’s family, stating that she was unaware of any such incident.

Meanwhile, superintendent of police Deepak Ranjan said he has asked the deputy superintendent of police (Sadar) to submit a report on the matter within 24 hours. “Action will be initiated against the culprits after that,” he added.

CPUs are statutory bodies formed to promote the interests of children, prevent violations of child rights and ensure effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act-2000. Bihar had notified the formation of such district-level units in 2009.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

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