A mob allegedly beat three men for opposing the regressive practice of determining the virginity of a bride on the wedding day, reports The Times of India. These men were allegedly attacked by the members of Kanjarbhat community. The incident happened during a marriage function at Bhat Nagar in Pune.
The victims – Prashant Indrekar, Saurabh Machale and Prashant Tamchikar – are part of a Whatsapp group ‘Stop the V-ritual’ spreading awareness against the practice of testing the virginity of a woman during the wedding night. As per the practice, the newly wedded bride has to undergo a virginity test, and if she fails in the test, the couple had to pay a sum as penalty.
Indrekar, one of the three attacked told The Indian Express that he went for the marriage with his family and witnessed a caste panchayat after the marriage ceremony talking about the need of demanding money from the bride and groom. According to him, there was a discussion supporting the virginity test of the bride, and no one opposed anyone on the spot. “They knew that my friends and I are part of the WhatsApp group ‘Stop the V-ritual’, which creates awareness in the community against the unjust practice of virginity test of brides. So, they got angry and questioned us and then 30-40 youths, including Sunny Malke, brother of the girl who got married on Sunday, attacked Saurabh Jitendra Machale and Prashant Vijay Tamaichikar. When I intervened, they also started beating me. A person even thrashed us with a leather belt. We condemn this act,” said Indrekar.
The police arrested two persons in connection with the incident, and a case was registered against the accused under various sections of Indian Penal Code dealing with unlawful assembly and rioting, and voluntarily causing hurt, the officials informed. The reports indicate that around 40 community members attacked them for refusing the panchayat’s old age practice.
“We had taken up the issue to the public through social media. Some community members are against us because of it,” Indrekar, told The Times of India. “We, with the help of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, had complained to the police in the past against such practices of the caste panchayat,” he added.
Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, founded by late rationalist Narendra Dabholkar is an organisation fighting against the superstitions on the country.