#India – Panchayat cuts off girl’s hair in public for allegedly eloping #Vaw #WTFnews

The police has registered a report against 16 people for being part of a tribal panchayat which punished a girl recently, for allegedly eloping, by cutting off her hair in public.

March 30, 2013
BETUL (MP), Agencies

The tribal panchayat at Chikhlar village situated about five kilometres away from Betul district headquarters also punished the girl’s uncle for allegedly eloping with her, by making him run around with a garland of shoes and a grinding stone tied to his chest.

Though the girl aged about 18 pleaded that her uncle had kidnapped her from the village market, the tribal panchayat allegedly did not listen to her pleas and insulted her.

The villagers vociferously have protested against the police action yesterday before the Superintendent of Police (SP) office here, demanding that the report be withdrawn.

They also justified the action of their panchayat as it was their “tradition”.

Representational pic

Terming the panchayat’s decision as illegal, the police said that a case has been registered and a further probe is on.

So far, 13 persons have been arrested and released by the police on a personal bond and a search is on to trace the remaining three culprits.

The police had intervened following a tip-off by an anganwadi worker and the girl’s family members spoke out against the panchayat diktat.

Her uncle who has been accused of eloping with her three months ago, was married, with two children.

He returned to the village on March 19 after which the local tribal panchayat met on March 20 to issue the diktat, police sources said.

Rumours of police action add to volunteers’ stress

Jeemon Jacob
Idinthakarai, Tehelka

Church bells tolled at Idinthakarai at 8.25am on Thursday 22 March after rumours of police moving towards the protest venue. Within minutes hundreds of villagers thronged St Lourdes Church grounds and People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) convener SP Udayakumar and his associate Pushparayan moved out of the stage where they are sitting on an indefinite hunger strike since 19 March. Fearing impending police action that the rumours warned of, the villagers shifted them to a safe area. Hundreds of women encircled the central zone and the men stood behind them. Some shouted slogans while others kept an eye on the roads. After 20 minutes of high voltage tension, volunteers keeping an eye on the police activites, informed the leaders there was no movement of police vehicles. The scene changed immediately and the children returned to their playfields; and the volunteers’ security circle was relaxed.

“Rumours of police movement have the effect of a mock drill here and the crowd gets tense. This is the fourth time that the rumours created stress here,” said Raj Leon (57) one of the many stranded at the protest grounds for the last four days. “The whole village is sitting here as we have reached a no point of return. I’m also one of them and we will remain here till they close down the plant, this is our unanimous decision,” he said. A fragile-looking Leon believes that they will win their war against Nuclear plant as the locals are talking in one voice. “Here we have only one agenda. If the government ignores our silent protests and democratic rights, then it’s our fate,” said Leon.

However, not all are as calm as him. The women, specially, are agitated and emotional but have become more aware and socially active. They have abandoned their daily chores, children and jobs to be a part of the protesting crowd. They too say they have reached a point of return .

Full story here



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