Woman stripped on orders of tribal panchayat in MP for ‘eloping with lover’

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(TIMESOFINDIA)INDORE: While the world was getting ready to party on New Year’s eve to welcome 2015, back in the tribal heart of Madhya Pradesh, a tribal panchayat (village council) in Alirajpur district unleashed a spine-chilling punishment to a married woman and her alleged young lover.

Just a few hours after the 25-year-old woman, who is a mother of two children returned with a relative and allegedly her lover, Kamlesh to their village Wadha in Alirajpur’s Udaigarh area (250 km from Indore), the duo were produced before a tribal panchayat by none other than the elected village sarpanch (head) Dhan Singh on December 31.

Both the woman and Kamlesh were first beaten up publicly in the presence of villagers and then tonsured. Subsequently, the woman was stripped and forced Kamlesh to “wash her breasts” (breastfeed), Udaigarh police station in-charge Gopichand Patel told the TOI on Friday.

Surprisingly, the entire cruel and ugly public episode went unabated, despite the woman’s husband opposing the violent and humiliating act.

The matter came to light on Thursday, when the woman reported it to the Udaigarh police. “A case has been registered against 10 accused and raids are being conducted to arrest them,” SP Alirajpur Akhilesh Jha told the TOI over phone on Friday.

The in-charge of Udaigarh police station in Alirajpur, Gopichand Patel, meanwhile, confirmed about receiving the complaint from the concerned women, who alleged being beaten, denuded and tonsured publicly at the behest of tribal panchayat on December 31.

“We’ve booked 10 persons under Sections 354A, 294,323, 120B, 147 and 506, but the accused are yet to be arrested,” Patel added.

A week ago, the woman had allegedly eloped with her relative Kamlesh to neighbouring Gujarat and was brought back by husband and village sarpanch on December 31.