Twenty villagers from Adilabad district in Telengana were booked on Friday after they tried to hush up the alleged gangrape of a 16-year-old girl in the village.
The minor girl alleged she was impregnated after five people repeatedly raped her over the past 16 months. The 20 villagers reportedly sought to settle the issue by holding a panchayat where the accused offered Rs 2.5 lakh to hush up the case.
The victim lodged a complaint with Madamarri police station on Thursday, alleging that five persons, who are her neighbours, threatened her and raped her separately since January 2015, police inspector P Sadaiah said.
The girl said she approached the villagers of Pallemguda of Kasipet mandal of Adilabad, who held a panchayat over the issue, even as one of the accused came forward to marry her. Also, she was offered Rs 2.5 lakh (Rs 50,000 each) by the five accused “to settle the matter”, though she and her family members lodged a police complaint, deputy superintendent of Police (Bellampalli Sub-Division) Ramana Reddy said.
“The villagers, who held the Panchayat should have actually informed the police about the matter (of rape). However, it did not happen. Hence, a case under section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of IPC has been registered against the 20 villagers, who organised the panchayat,” the DSP said.
The minor girl has been sent for medical examination, and the report would confirm whether she is pregnant or not, the inspector said. The five persons were booked on charge of rape and criminal intimidation under relevant sections of IPC besides under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Inspector said. He, however, refused to divulge if the five accused were detained or are being questioned saying the matter is under investigation.