Take Rs 31, 000 and forget you were raped, Bihar panchayat tells survivor

Patna: A panchayat in Bihar has ordered one of its members accused of raping a woman to pay her Rs.31,000 and asked the victim to forget the incident, police said Tuesday.

But the accused, a member of a powerful local family in Nawada district about 150 km from here, refused to pay the money, threatened the victim and her family and told them not to disclose it to anyone, police said.

"The accused's family has threatened her with dire consequences if she opens her mouth," police official Virendra Kumar Sahu said.

This forced the victim to approach police and thanks to pressure by the local media, an FIR was lodged against the accused.

"Initially, police refused to register a case but after local media persons inquired about it, a case was lodged," the victim's father said.

Sahu has ordered an investigation into the incident.

According to police, the incident occurred last week when the victim was going to answer nature's call. The accused abducted her and raped her for two days.

Early last month, a panchayat in Katihar district ordered one of its members accused of raping a Mahadalit woman to pay her Rs.41,000 and asked the victim to not report the incident, police said.

Last year, a panchayat in Kishanganj district ordered a minor girl, who was raped by four brothers and was seven months pregnant, to take Rs.50,000 and undergo an abortion.

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