A panchayat of an Agra village forced a rape victim to marry her alleged rapist last Friday. The girl’s parents were allegedly forced to agree to the match because of the implicit threats by the panchyat for social boycott.

The development followed a panchayat, which was allegedly organised by the accused to neutralise the issue after the girl’s father registered a complaint against him.

Gaurav Yadav, a resident of Manona village, allegedly abducted and raped an undergraduate student, a resident of the same village on June 21, after which the girl’s father lodged a complaint at the Barnahal police station. The accused was on the run after the registration of the FIR. In the meantime, the traumatised girl attempted suicide.

According to the victim’s brother, while being on the run, the accused got his family organise a village panchayat. At the panchayat, the elders admitted that the boy committed a “crime” and allegedly forced the parents of the victim to accept the accused as their son-in-law.

Social stigma

“The panchayat categorically admitted that Gaurav committed a heinous crime but also told us about the consequences of the FIR against him. We were told that his life would be ruined and the complaint would also defame the village. The elders made us aware about the social stigma which my girl will have to face throughout her life and said that marriage would save everybody from the shame,” the victim’s brother told the media. The police, however, was not aware of the marriage. Ramanand Kushwaha, Circle Officer of Karhal, said that a team would be sent to the village to meet the parents of the victim and find out the situation on the ground.