New Delhi, India (CNN) — When a 14-year-old girl was pulled from her home, dragged to a nearby forest and raped, police revealed the assault was ordered by the head of her village in India.
The horrific case, which took place last week, has once again shed light on local councils, called panchayats, which wield significant power in rural villages throughout India and can dole out punishment with impunity.
The incident occurred after the girl’s brother was accused of attempting to rape a married woman, according to police. The village council met and directed the aggrieved woman’s husband, identified as Nakabandi Passi, to rape the accused assailant’s young sister in retaliation, police said.
That girl told reporters the attacker and his wife came to her house. His wife “dragged me out of my house. She handed me over to her husband and told him to take me away to a nearby forest and rape me,” she said.
Passi, the village head, Ghosala Passi, and the rape victim’s brother have been sent to jail to await trial, police said. The three suspects have pleaded not guilty, said the city of Bokaro police chief, Jitendra Kumar Singh.