Youths from Kanjarbhat who have been raising their voice against their caste panchayat for conducting “virginity test” of brides on the “first night” of marriage seem to be facing harassment again. On Saturday, three bikes belonging to the youths were allegedly damaged in Bhatnagar. The attack comes two days before a group of people from the community plans to take out a rally against the youths.
The youths who came together and formed a WhatsApp group, “Stop the V-ritual” to voice concerns about conducting “virginity test” of brides on the “first night” of marriage, have faced attacks in the past when they were beaten up during a marriage ceremony in January.
The Indian Express had last year reported about the youths, led by Vivek Tamaichikar, a Masters student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai. He had formed the WhatsApp group in an attempt to fight the practice of “virginity tests”.
Vivek’s cousin Priyanka Tamaichikar, who is actively involved in the drive, said: “Three bikes owned by our family, that were parked outside our house in Bhatnagar area, have been vandalised. Three days ago, they tore the seat covers of one of the bikes. A day before that, they did it with two other bikes and also broke the lights of the two- wheelers. We were sure from day one that those who are against our stand are doing this. Otherwise why would it
only happen to our bikes? But my brother has now recorded a video of a person damaging the bikes. We have submitted the video to the police and they have registered a non-cognisable offence.”
She added, “On Monday, a group of people from our community will take out a rally to the district collector’s office against our effort. They call us anti-social elements. Such attacks and rallies will not deter us and we will continue to fight against these traditions.”
The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti had support the group’s effort.
Station duty officer at Pimpri police station said a non-cognisable offence has been registered based on a complaint registered by Priyanka Tanmaichikar.