Village elders arrested in Telangana for ‘settling’ minor’s rape case

Hyderabad, May 8 (IANS) Sixteen village elders were arrested in Telangana’s Adilabad district on Saturday after they settled the case relating to alleged gang rape of a minor girl.

Police were on lookout for four other elders who fled Pallemguda village in Kasipet mandal.

The shocking incident, in which five villagers sexually exploited the 14-year-old girl for nearly a year, came to light after the girl became pregnant.

The village elders a few days ago held a apanchayat to settle the issue. It asked the five accused to pay Rs.50,000 each to the girl’s family and decided that the pregnancy be terminated. One of the accused was also ordered to marry the girl but he refused.

The victim’s family lodged a complaint with Mandamarri police station two days ago.

All five accused including a father and son have been arrested and booked under Nirbhaya Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Police said 20 village elders were booked for hushing up the case.

The girl was studying in a school, located some four km from the village. An auto driver who used to take her to school started sexually exploiting her. Later, four others also raped her separately.

According to police, this exploitation continued for nearly a year and the matter came to light after the girl’s parents learnt that she is pregnant.

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