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A search operation is underway to arrest the members of a panchayat (village council) who fled after ordering a man to rape a 17-year-old girl, police said on Wednesday.

According to SHO Malik Rashid, the search operation began after two cases were registered against the members of the council at a police station in Multan’s Muzaffarabad area.

The council, comprising at least 40 men, was convened in Muzaffarabad’s Rajpur area after a 12-year-old girl, F*, was raped by a man while cutting grass in a field on July 16, reads the First Information Report (FIR) filed at a women’s police station in Muzaffarabad.

On July 18, the panchayat ordered F’s brother to rape 17-year-old N*, the sister of the accused. According to the police, N was dragged to the area where the panchayat was convened and was raped by the men and her parents.