Patna: A village court in Bihar has asked a 15-year-old rape victim to sell her newborn baby after she approached them for compensation and sought action against the rapists.
The victim who delivered the baby last month faces social boycott.
The order was passed by a village court in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district recently, but the incident came to light after the victim registered a case with the local police, narrating her plight. The police have registered a case against two people, including a Muslim cleric, who are absconding.
According to the victim, she had gone to serve food to the cleric at a local mosque when he allegedly served her drug-laced sweets and raped her. He blackmailed her for two months and sexually exploited her. Later a local youth came to know about the incident and he too raped her frequently, leaving her pregnant.
Initially, the family tried to keep the matter secret owing to social reasons but finally brought the matter to the notice of the village court when she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. However, the matter remained pending. A couple of days back, the victim brought the matter to the court again shortly after she had delivered the baby, seeking compensation and action against the accused.
“I was extremely shocked when the village court held me responsible for rape and suggested that I sell the baby. I was told that I could get a minimum of Rs100,000 by selling my baby,” the girl told local media.
A village court member too confirmed such advice having been given to the victim. “According to my information, negotiations were held with a family over the issue and the baby was to be sold for Rs100,000 but I am not aware what happened next,” village court member Muhammad Sadre told the media.
With no justice from the court, the victim has now registered a case with the local police. “We have registered the case and raids are being conducted to nab the accused persons who are absconding. They will be caught soon,” officer-in-charge of local women’s police station Savita Devi told the media on Monday.
According to a report compiled by the state police, a total of 893 incidents of rape were reported in the first seven months of this year in Bihar. Last year, 1,475 such incidents had been reported.