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Monday, May 10, 2021

Woman fails ‘virginity test’, she and sister face ‘divorce’ order from ‘jaat panchayat’

Police have booked the two husbands, mother-in-law and some members of the so-called panchayat for allegedly boycotting and passing the diktat of divorce against the two sisters.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: April 10, 2021 7:57:42 am
According to the complaint, the two sisters, belonging to the Kanjarbhat community in Kolhapur, got a proposal for marriage with two men, both from the same community.

Two sisters were allegedly subjected to a “virginity test” after their marriage, and are now facing an order of divorce from their husbands through a “jaat panchayat” in Kolhapur. Police have booked the two husbands, mother-in-law and some members of the so-called panchayat for allegedly boycotting and passing the diktat of divorce against the two sisters.

An FIR was lodged in the matter on Thursday evening. Based on a complaint lodged by the sisters, police have booked the accused under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.

According to the complaint, the two sisters, belonging to the Kanjarbhat community in Kolhapur, got a proposal for marriage with two men, both from the same community. Police said one of them was known to be serving in the Army and the other, his brother, was employed privately.

The complaint further states that the sisters got married to the two men in Kolhapur on November 27, 2020. After the wedding, the two brides were taken to separate bedrooms for conducting “virginity test” as per a “tradition” followed by the community, the complaint stated.

The complaint stated that the groom was given a white sheet and asked to use it during intercourse. A sheet with bloodstains on it would be proof of the bride’s virginity and without, she is accused of being with another man in the past, the complaint stated.

In her statement, one of the sisters said she was accused of having a physical relationship with other men in the past, while her sister “passed the test”.

On November 29, the complainant’s husband and in-laws demanded Rs 10 lakh from her for the construction of a house and threatened that they would not maintain any relations with the two sisters, the complaint stated.

The complainant has alleged that she and her sister were also physically assaulted by their husbands and in-laws.

Later, they also allegedly forced the two sisters to leave their house and go back to their own home. Their mother then approached the “jaat panchayat” members for help, who allegedly took Rs 40,000 from the mother to solve the issue.

Accordingly, in February 2021, a “jaat panchayat” was organised at a temple. The complainant alleged that members of this panchayat consented to the end of marriage. The complainant also alleged that she was boycotted by her community.

The complainant’s mother approached Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti for help, which took up the matter and assisted the two sisters and their mother in approaching the police and lodging a complaint. The case is being investigated further.

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