Mumbai: The virginity test before marriage is illegal and if anyone demands such a test will be prosecuted under the law, Dr Ranjeet Patil, Home Minister announced on Wednesday in the Legislative Council.
A police complaint was filed against an alleged ‘virginity test’ performed on a newly-wed woman in Kanjarbhat community in December last year.
Young people from the community are raising voice against the “humiliating” practice of performing virginity tests on newly-wed women of the nomadic tribe in Maharashtra. The members of this network have formed a WhatsApp group called ‘Stop the V-ritual’.
Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena MLC raised the issue in the Legislative Council through a calling attention motion. She said that if someone opposes the traditional practice then the whole community boycotts the person. “Some young people from the same community opposed the practice. But the community members beat them up,” she said.
While replying to the calling attention motion, Patil said this tradition will be abolished and anyone still practising it will have to face criminal action. “No one can speak about the tradition else police will register a case against him,” Patil said.
“The government is planning to counsel the youths of the community not to perform or support the tradition. Those who are against the tradition will be provided police protection,” the minister said.
“The Pune police had investigated the matter in Pune last year. The social groups came forward to stop this tradition. The government will provide police protection to them. The police were asked to register cases against those who are still performing it,” Patil said.
“In next one month there will be a meeting with the police and the activist from the community, who are against the tradition to review. Then after interval of three months it will be reviewed. Even the activist will be protected under the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016,” Dr. Patil assured.