The Chhota Udepur district police on Wednesday booked 15 people after a video of a 17-year-old girl being publicly flogged in Bilvant village of the district went viral.
According to the police, relatives of the girl, including her uncles and cousins, flogged her with sticks on May 21 for allegedly eloping with a youth from the same village. The video surfaced on social media on Wednesday morning.
A complaint was registered by the girl’s father at Rangpur police station. All the 15, including the man who shot the video and those witnessed the assault and did not come forward to help the girl, apart from her three relatives, have been booked.
They have been booked under IPC sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object),
323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (2) (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and under relevant sections of the The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
According to the police, the girl had eloped to Madhya Pradesh with the 20-year-old youth around 15 days ago. Her uncle, seen in the video, brought back the duo on May 21, when she was flogged in public. “As soon as the video was brought to our notice, we took cognisance of it and traced the source. The girl’s father has lodged a complaint. Three people were identified in the video and others who were present at the spot have been booked as well based on the complaint,” said MS Bhabhor, Superintendent of Police, Chhota Udepur.
Another complaint has also been registered against the youth with whom the girl eloped, under charges of kidnapping and sections of the POCSO Act. “The girl is a minor and as per the law, the youth has been booked under charges of kidnapping,” investigating officer Dilip Vasava said.
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