The father of a rape survivor has alleged that the village panchayat in Madhya Pradesh's Rajgarh district declared his daughter an outcast after he failed to follow its diktat and throw a community feast that he was told would "purify my daughter".
"They said the accused is from a lower caste, so they need to purify my daughter," he said.
However, the district administration said that initial investigations showed the father's allegations were untrue and none of the villagers were involved.
The 16-year-old girl was waylaid and raped while on her way home in January. The accused was arrested and sent to judicial custody.
"For that, they are asking for 'bhandara (community feast)' but I don't have money. They don't invite us for any function... they don't talk to us. If I don't get support, I won't survive," the father said.
The girl's family lodged a complaint on Thursday with the local Women and Child Development (WCD) officials.
"The rape survivor, along with her mother, filed a complaint seeking action against the panchayat for ordering their ostracisation for not entertaining the locals with a community feast in order to purify her," an official said.
The local police chief admitted a complaint had been filed but said that when a team of officials visited the village, they found a "mutually decided" ceremony had been organised.
"They had given the application to the women's development officer, but when the team comprising WCD, revenue and police team went to the village and inquired, they found they have mutually decided to organise a religious ceremony and distribute prasad after that," police officer NS Sisodia said.
Earlier this week, an eight-year-old girl from a village in Singrauli district was allegedly raped by two boys.
The accused, also minors, were detained yesterday.
"The girl had gone to bathe at a water body in the village when the two boys sexually assaulted her. On reaching home, she complained about health problems, after which her parents took her to the district hospital," police official Abhijeet Ranjan told news agency PTI.
The two accused have been charged under relevant sections of the IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, he added