Panchayats are known for their strict discipline and strict social order.
But now a Panchaiyat officer in Haryana has been accused of sexually abusing three boys who were allegedly under the age of 12.
The case of the three men, who were arrested after a complaint was lodged by a woman, is the first time the police have been involved in a case of child molestation involving a senior police officer.
The three boys, who are from the city of Panchkula, had been staying with the officer.
According to the police, the accused officer was a police constable, and the case is being investigated under the Panchpally Act.
Panchkalas police have arrested the officer for allegedly raping the boys on May 12.
He has been remanded in judicial custody.
The incident took place at a house in Panchi, which is a village of about 1,000 people, and has attracted media coverage, especially as the accused has denied the allegation.
A day later, the three boys were taken into police custody, while the case was registered.
The three have been lodged in the police station, which has been sealed off and the three accused are being interrogated.
The police said the officer had been employed in the Pachpally Police Station in the district for a few years.
However, he was promoted to the rank of constable in December 2015, which was two months before the incident took a tragic turn, sources said.
A woman lodged a complaint against the officer in the Haryanas State Women’s Commission on May 16.
She alleged that the accused, who is also a constable of the same station, had raped her when she was staying with him in his house.
“He used to sexually molest the boys while he was in Pachchhari Police Station.
The accused raped the boys when he was working as a constables in Pashupati Police Station and at a local village in Harsi.
The victim’s parents lodged a case against the accused in the women’s commission,” said a police officer, who was not named.
“The police arrested the accused at a private residence in Panshari.
The FIR was registered on May 20.
The case was investigated under Panchpol Act.”
The police, however, said they have not yet received any official complaint.
The investigation into the case will be sent to the Harshad Nagar police station.
The police are yet to register an FIR.