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Minor raped to punish brother, 3 arrested

Bokaro, July 9: An 11-year-old girl was raped by a man on Monday to punish her brother for groping his wife the night before, the “eye-for-an-eye penalty” ordered by the Gulgulia community in Bokaro’s Gomia block jolting the district administration to arrest three persons and form a high-level inquiry panel.

According to Gomia officer-in-charge Virendra Kumar Ram, the seed of this horror was sown on Sunday night at Swang village in Gomia block, 60km from Bokaro city, when the girl’s brother Harendra Pasi (27) entered the home of one Nakabandi alias Birju Pasi and groped the man’s sleeping wife. When the woman’s screams alerted neighbours, Harendra fled.

The next day, the woman and her husband Nakabandi complained formally before Gulgulia elders against Harendra’s misconduct. Elders led by one Ghoshal Pasi ordered Nakabandi to rape either Harendra’s sister or daughter. The same evening, Nakabandi and his wife went to Harendra’s house. Seeing Harendra’s 11-year-old sister, Nakabandi’s wife pounced on her, dragged the girl by her hair before her helpless mother and handed the child over to her husband.

Then, the man took the 11-year-old to the nearby bushes and raped her.

As the girl kept bleeding constantly, yesterday around 8pm, her mother took her to Gomia thana to file an FIR against Nakabandi and community elders for inflicting rape penalty on the minor.

OC Ram sent the girl to the block hospital. Doctors said her condition was serious.

Gomia police arrested Nakabandi last evening, and Ghoshal Pasi and the girl’s brother Harendra this morning. The three have been sent to Tenughat jail.

Gomia OC Ram said he was shocked something like this could happen. “A child was raped to avenge something her elder brother did. The wife of the man handed the child over to be raped. Community elders allegedly ordered this ghastly crime,” he said.

“She was bleeding profusely when she came with her mother, which is why she was sent to the Gomia block hospital,” the policeman added.

Bokaro DC Uma Shankar Singh today ordered an inquiry into the case, deputing a special committee with Bermo subdivisional officer Rahul Kumar Sinha at the helm. “It is a grave crime against a child and humanity. I am shocked beyond words,” he said.

“We will ensure the case gets a speedy trial and all found guilty are penalised,” Bokaro SP Jitendra Singh said.

Gomia MLA Madhowlal Singh has condemned the incident, saying this has brought shame to society.

The Gulgulia community, one of the most marginalised in the state, either begs or performs street plays to earn a living. Often shunned by mainstream society, Gulgulias live by their own social codes.