As many as 20 members of a village panchayat from Multan, Pakistan have reportedly been arrested for ordering a rape of a 16-year-old girl as a punishment after her brother allegedly raped another woman. The police have reportedly launched a massive manhunt to nab the other accused who allegedly fled after a complaint was lodged.

“A jirga [village council] had ordered the rape of a 16-year-old girl as punishment, as her brother had raped a 12-year-old,” police official Allah Baksh was quoted as saying. A Jirga is a traditional village council where members made decisions on village matters by consensus.

As per the FIR lodged at the police station, the panchayat comprising of 40 men reportedly held a meeting in the Rajpur area of Muzaffarabad after a 12-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a man in a field. Two days after the incident took place, the council reportedly asked the brother of the victim to rape the sister of the accused.

Local reports suggest that the 16-year-old was dragged in front of the village council and sexually assaulted in presence of the members of the council and her parents.

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Following which the parents of the 16-year-old filed a FIR against the men. The police immediately launched an investigation and arrested the men. The security officials are still trying to nab the remaining accused. Meanwhile, the suspect who allegedly raped the 12-year-old is reportedly still on the run.

In 2002, a tribal council had reportedly ordered a rape of a woman identified as Mukhtar Mai after her younger teenage brother was accused of having an affair with an older woman. Opposed to what most people in the area thought she would do, the woman registered a complaint and got her rapists arrested.

Mukhtar Mai is now is a social media activist and has time and again urged the rape survivors to raise their voice asserting that she will do everything in her might to help them get justice.

Source: Dawn

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