Panchayat ‘awards’ death sentence to rape victim, accused in Jharkhand’s Chaibasa

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Rape accused arrested in Manjhari

Chaibasa: Police arrested a rape accused after a village panchayat ‘awarded’ death sentence to both the victim and the suspect and ordered that they be burnt alive. The panchayat also slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the family of the accused, police said on Thursday.

The Panchayat of Manjhari village of West Singhbhum late Tuesday decided to punish Man Singh Kunkal alias Robin, the accused, and a 13-year-old girl who had become pregnant, by burning them alive.

Robin, 28, is said to be a close relative of the victim.

Sources said Robin, when produced before the Panchayat, confessed to the crime. Robin said he established a physical relation with the minor girl with her consent. The issue was brought to the Panchayat after the minor became pregnant.

The panchayat, besides slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on Robin’s family, also reportedly demanded a feast of khassi murga (mutton and chicken) and rice to dispose the case.

The West Singhbhum police came to know about the panchayat’s decision on Wednesday and arrested the accused.

Police have also registered a case against people involved in the Panchayat diktat. They said that those involved in issuing the diktat will also be arrested.

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