Police in Rajasthan’s Bundi district have booked ten people from a Khap Panchayat for allegedly barring a 5-year-old girl from entering her house, as a punishment for mistakenly breaking an egg of a bird which is considered auspicious, said officials.
According to police, ever since the diktat was passed on July 2, the child was forced to stay under a shade outside her house in Haripura village of Bundi district.
Officials said the diktat had also banned the villagers, including her parents from touching the girl.
“The child had mistakenly broken an egg of a Titihari bird (Red Wattled Lapwing) and the people from the village came to know about this. This particular bird is considered as auspicious by many villagers here and it is believed that its sighting heralds the beginning of monsoon,” said Lakhsman Singh, police inspector, Hindoli police station, Bundi.
The police said that as punishment, a Khap Panchayat barred the girl from entering her house. Both the family of the girl and members of the Khap Panchayat are from the Regar community, a Scheduled Caste.
In the diktat, members of the panchayat had also ordered the girl and her family to perform religious rituals to absolve themselves of the ‘sin’ of breaking the egg, said officials.
“We got to know about the incident on Wednesday and immediately went to the village. Preliminary investigation suggests that the child couldn’t enter her house for the past 10 days and was staying under a shade outside the house since the panchayat order was passed,” said Singh.
Officials said the girl, a student of class 1, finally got to enter her house on Wednesday after the police and district administration intervened.
After the incident came to light, the Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission sought a report from the police and district administration by July 19.
In its order, the Commission observed that if true, the incident is extremely shameful and is a case where a person was deprived of her basic human rights.
Manan Chaturvedi, chairperson, Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (RSCPCR), who visited the village and met victim’s family on Thursday told The Indian Express that the panchayat had also demanded money and alcohol from the child’s family.
“It is even more worrying that nobody from the village informed the police all this time,” said Chaturvedi.
“We will be closely monitoring the case to see that the family of the girl doesn’t face any problem,” said Chaturvedi.
The police said that a case was registered against 10 people on Thursday.
“After a complaint was submitted to us by the father of the girl, we registered an FIR against 10 people who were involved in passing the diktat. They have been booked under sections 508 (act caused by inducing person to believe that he will be rendered an object of divine displeasure), 384 (punishment for extortion) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC,” Singh said.
He added that sections of the Juvenile Justice Act and Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955, have also been included in the FIR.