Pune: About 40 persons of the Kanjarbhat community have been booked by Pune police for allegedly thrashing three youths who have been spreading awareness against the practice of determining the virginity of a bride on the wedding night in their community. The caste panchayat members were opposed to the youths for their stand against the practice.
Based on a complaint filed by Prashant Ankush Indrekar (25) of Yerawada, an FIR has been registered against the accused persons with Pimpri police station. Indrekar was beaten up along with Saurabh Machhle and Prashant Tamachikar.
The incident took place around 11.30 pm on Sunday at Jhulelal Complex in Bhatnagar locality of Pimpri, where the wedding of a girl from the community was held and the youths had gone to attend the ceremony.
According to police, for the last three months, the youths have started a WhatsApp group called ‘Stop the V Ritual’ to spread awareness against the practice of determining the virginity of a bride on the wedding night.
Around 8.30 pm on Sunday, they had gone to attend a wedding ceremony at the complex. After the wedding ceremony, the community held a caste panchayat. “After the panchayat got over around 11.30 pm, I went to the mandap where my mother and other relatives were sitting. A group of about 40 youths started beating Machhle and Tamachikar saying why they are opposing their traditional practice of virginity test of a bride.
They were also angry because of our campaign on social media against the caste panchayat’s regressive practices. They kicked and hit them with belts. When I intervened, I was thrashed too,” Indrekar stated in his complaint.
Police have registered a case for offences under Indian Penal Code’s sections pertaining to voluntarily causing hurt, unlawful assembly and rioting.
Senior Police Inspector Shreedhar Jadhav, in-charge of Pimpri police station, said, “We have arrested three persons till now and investigations are on. We have also sought legal opinion on whether the accused could be booked under the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.”
One of the victims said, “With the help of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, we had complained to police in the past against such practices of the caste panchayat.”