A minor girl and a man were paraded with garlands of shoes around their necks as “punishment” for eloping. The incident was reported at a village in Chhindwara district, around 130 km from the state capital Bhopal.
A group of people in Ambajhiri village under the Mohkhed police station paraded the girl and the man on the street and beaten them up, justifying their act as “punishment for eloping”, police said on Monday.
The incident occurred on Saturday, however it came to light after the local police were informed on Monday. As per the police, “this unlawful act was done on the direction of a tribal social panchayat”. Both the girl and the man belong to a tribal community, and the girl was accused of eloping with a man, who is her maternal uncle.
Tribal panchayat ordered that both the girl and the man should be punished and therefore they were paraded with garlands of shoes and abused. They were paraded on the streets of the village in the presence of family members and relatives.
The police on the complaint of the minor girl had booked nine persons including – Motilal Karveti, Dadubhai Ivnati, Saddhu Ahke and others, in connection to the incident. Motilal is the maternal grandfather of the girl and was among those who passed a “verdict” against the girl.
As per the complainant, a samajaik panchayat (social court) was organised at the house of the girl, where she was accused of eloping with a local man who is a distant relative of the village and the court called it an “immoral act”. The courtiers insulted and abused the two and later pronounced a verdict that both of them should be paraded in the village with garland of shoes around their neck.
The girl had left to Nagpur around 20 days ago to find work in Nagpur and returned on June 2. During the same period the man – Basanta Dhiku, had also “disappeared”, prompting locals to assume that the two had an affair and fled together.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Vivek Agrawal told reporters that the police have taken a serious note of the incident and a case was registered against eight identified persons and others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Juvenile Justice Act.
Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) has sought a report about the incident from the Chhindwara SP within three weeks.