Minor girl tonsured on community diktat in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: In a bizarre community diktat, a minor Baiga girl’s head was partially tonsured after she was allegedly found holding hands of a married man in a village in chief minister’s home district Kawardha.
Though the girl clarified that the man was drunk and was trying to molest her, Baiga community slapped fine of Rs 5000 on her family as well as man’s family and ordered to partially tonsure her head. While it was against the rituals for women to chop hair in Baiga tribe, police took cognizance of the matter and began probe.
Thirteen-year-old tribal girl hailing from remote Shendorkhar village in Kawardha district was forced to wear veil on her head to prevent those mocking at her partially tonsured head.
According to information, the girl studying in Class 7 who also works as a labourer at an under-construction site, was approached by a married man who was reportedly drunk and tried to touch her. When others in same tribe spotted him touching her, they took the matter to community head complaining that the duo was in illicit relationship and should be punished. The incident took place on January 21 and was highlighted late after media was alerted.
The community heads decided to slap fine on both the families worth Rs 5000 each. But the punishment for girl and her family was a little more. The members not only demanded family for a community feast but also ordered to partially tonsure girl’s head.
Girl told media that her father borrowed Rs 6000 from relatives for the feast with non-vegetarian food and liquor. Girl’s mother said that unmarried girls can’t chop their hair but the diktat was such that they had to follow what the members demanded.
Later, Police have arrested Arjun Yadav under section 354, 323 of IPC and 7,8 of POCSO who also pulled the girl by hair while molesting her.
And ten others from Baiga tribe were arrested under Section 384, 34 of IPC AND relevant sections of Civil Rights Protection Act for boycotting the family of girl and tonsuring her head.
Bhagwat Das Manikpuri, sarpanch said that I was called for discussion by the community two days after the incident on January 24. It wasn’t a big matter, the man was drunk and tried to touch the girl. Later, I counselled the man and others and returned, I had no idea that the family would be fined or girl would be tonsured, he said.
However, Kawardha SP Lal Umed Singh said that though the case wasn’t reported by the family, police has taken cognizance of the matter and a team was sent to the village for investigation.
(Source: Times of India)