The wife of one of the accused had witnessed the dastardly act and informed the village elders about it.
Tura (Meghalaya): Ten people, including two minors, allegedly took turns to rape a 13-year-old mentally-challenged girl over a period of two months in Meghalaya's North Garo Hills district, police told on Sunday.
The incident came to light after an FIR was lodged by the girl's family at the Resubelpara police station on Sunday.
Police arrested nine of the accused on Monday, while one is absconding.
The mentally-challenged girl was repeatedly raped over the last two months, the police said, adding that the wife of one of the accused had witnessed the dastardly act and informed the village elders about it.
The village heads called the family members of the girl to a meeting on July 25 to arrive at a compromise. However, the girl's family did not relent and lodged the FIR, the police said.
They added that two of the accused were minors, while most of the others were married and hailed from the same village of Haluapara under Resubelpara police station.
"It appears that they took turns to rape the girl at various times and at various locations in the village. The accused even confessed to their crime at the meeting held in the village," Circle Inspector of Resubelpara police station G K Sangma said.
Social activists flayed the villagers for trying to suppress the incident.
"The villagers also need to be docked for trying to hide the heinous crime committed against a 13-year-old girl. There cannot be a compromise for what the culprits have done and for attempting to do so, the elders should be taken to task for trying to circumvent the law," social activist Dardy G C Marak said.
It may be noted that kangaroo courts decide the fate of most criminals in the remote parts of Meghalaya.