Woman forced to undergo “purification” for marrying a Dalit

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Betul (Madhya Pradesh): 24-year-old woman from Betul district in Madhya Pradesh was allegedly forced to undergo a “cleansing” ritual by her father and other family members in which she was allegedly forced to take a bath in the Narmada River , her hair cut and her clothes thrown away for marrying a Dalit man, police said on Saturday.

Police filed a complaint against the woman’s father and three of his relatives on Saturday after the woman lodged a complaint, Betul Kotwali police station official Ratnakar Hingve said.

The woman filed a complaint with Police Commissioner (SP) Simala Prasad on Friday.

The complainant alleged that she married a Dalit man in March 2020. She said her family members filed a missing person complaint in January 2021, although her father knew where she was and was meeting her.

“I got married on March 11, 2020, and informed my father on January 4, 2021. My father continued to meet with me but despite this, he filed a missing person complaint on January 10, 2021, at the Chopna police station. (in the Betul district), “the woman told reporters.

After filing the missing person complaint, the woman was reunited with her family by the police who took her signature on a piece of paper.

“Later, I went to a hostel in February to finish my studies (nursing). My father arrived at the hostel (in Rajgarh district) to take me home on August 18th for ‘Rakshabandhan’. later my father and others took me to the Narmada river in Hoshangabad and a purification ritual was performed on me for marrying a lower caste, ”the woman said.

She said her family members made her take a bath in the Narmada River with some clothes on and cut her hair a little. They later forced her to throw the clothes into the river, she alleged.

The woman alleged that she was under pressure to divorce her husband and remarry a man of her caste.

Meanwhile, Hingve said a case has been registered under sections 506 (Criminal intimidation punishment), 504 (intentional insult to cause breach of public order) and other sections. The diary of the case is being sent to Chopna police station in Betul district for further action, he added.

No arrests have been made to date.

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Posted on: Sunday October 31st, 2021 01:38 IST

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