A ten-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour on the diktat of a Panchayat chief in Bokaro district, the police said.
The 25-year-old rape accused allegedly dragged the girl to a nearby bush and raped her on the directive of Bhopal Pasi, the Panchayat chief of Swang Gulgulia Dhoura village in Bokaro district's Gomia police station area, at a panchayat meeting on Tuesday evening.
Both the rape accused and Bhopal were arrested on Wednesday on the basis of the girl's statement, Bokaro SP Jitendra Kumar Singh said.
The police also arrested the victim's brother after the accused's wife lodged a counter-complaint accusing him of molesting and assaulting her.
The police said that the rape accused had allegedly entered the victim's house in an inebriated state on Monday night and tried to molest her mother. But, her father beat him up and drove him out of the house, police said.
The next morning the accused went to the panchayat and complained to Bhopal of being assaulted by the father, they said, adding that a meeting of the panchayat was convened.
In the meeting, where both the families were present, Bhopal allegedly directed the accused to rape the 10-year-old girl to avenge his assault, police said.
The accused then allegedly dragged the girl away into a bush, little distance away from the panchayat venue, ignoring the cry of the victim's mother to spare her daughter, and raped her, they said.
An hour later, the victim's mother brought the profusely-bleeding little girl from the bush before the panchayat, the police said.