July 14, 2021 1:33:14 am
The Dahod district police on Tuesday arrested 11 men for allegedly assaulting a 23-year-old woman in Khajuri village of Dhanpur taluka of the district.
An FIR was filed at Dhanpur police station against 18 men after a video showed the woman being stripped, dragged on village roads, thrashed with sticks by a mob, and then being tied to a tree and assaulted. The mob also released the video of the assault on social media to shame the woman who was allegedly in an affair with a man.
Sub-inspector BM Patel of Dhanpur police station said, “A video showing 15 to 20 men behaving in an inhuman manner with a woman went viral on social media a few days ago. Taking serious note of it, Range IG of Godhra, MS Barada, ordered a probe. With help of technical details and human intelligence, we narrowed down on Khajuri village and identified the accused.”
Patel said that the incident appears to be of July 6 while the video went viral on July 11 and added, “The woman belongs to a community that usually migrates to Saurashtra for labour work where she befriended a man. She had been facing hardship with her husband. She said she would confide in the man and he had assured her of help when she was in trouble.”
“On July 5, she had an argument with her husband in the village and decided to reach out to the friend in the nearby village. The family members learnt about it and set out to bring her back and punish her. The following day, they publicly humiliated her and beat her up. The man who she is seen carrying on her shoulder in the video, as part of the punishment, is her husband. They have a one-year-old daughter,” Patel said.
In the video, a mob is seen dragging the woman on the road after partially stripping her while hitting her with sticks. Some of the men are seen pinning her down as a mob assaults her with sticks on her back and hips. When she tries to stand, she is pushed back to the ground and the assault continues.
The video also shows the group of men tying the woman’s hands and legs with a rope and swinging her after hanging her by the branch of a tree as they continue to beat her with sticks. The police took along a counsellor to encourage the woman to file the complaint.
All the accused are related to the victim and are part of her husband’s family, P atel said. “They said they were teaching her a lesson for having entered into a relationship with a man while being married. Such things are looked down upon in tribal communities. They usually resort to such brutal attacks to punish those who go against their social norms.”
He added that the video came to the notice of police on July 11, following which the police team tried to identify the location. “We identified it as Khajuri village and sent a beat constable to find out details. When it was confirmed that such an incident occurred there, we took along women constables to encourage the woman to file a complaint. She was in her husband’s house after the assault and did not seek medical help. The woman was intimidated but she felt confident after police assured her of safety. She identified the men in the video and filed the complaint,” Patel said.
The accused have been identified as the woman’s relatives from her husband’s family, including her husband Dinesh Kaniya Machhar. The others are Pappu Kaniya Machhar, Bharat Savla Machhar, Rakesh Savla Machhar, Navalsingh Kasna Machhar, Ramesh alias Nanna Saniya Machhar, Mehul Sabur Machhar, Sabiya Dahariya Machhar, Sanjay Ditiya Machhar, Ditiya Nanabhai Machhar. Madiya Ditiya, Laxman Sabiya Machhar, Ranjit Machhar, Sabur Machhar, Akhil Machhar, Manish Machhar and Vina Machhar.
All of them have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 354 (B)(C), 143 for unlawful assembly, 144 for being armed with any deadly weapon likely to cause death, 146 for violence for a common purpose, 147 for rioting, 149, 34 for common pursuance of crime, 292 for obscenity, 504 for intentional insult to provoke and break public peace, 506(2) for criminal intimidation and 509 for insulting the modesty of women, as well as under the Information Technology Act for releasing the video of the violent act against the woman on social media.
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