A 19-year-old tribal woman was dragged by her hair, tied to a tree, and brutally beaten up in Madhya Pradesh’s Alirajpur district for allegedly running away from her in-laws house.
According to Alirajpur police, the incident occurred 350 kilometres away from the state capital, Bhopal, in the tribal-dominated Badi Phul Talaw village on 28 June, 2021.
The area comes under the jurisdiction of Bohri police station.
The police said that the members of her family were upset with the girl because she ran away from her in-laws' house only three months after the marriage.
The matter came to light when videos of the incident went viral on social media platforms on Friday, 2 July.
The visuals showed the victim's father, Kel Bhel, and her three cousins –Bhuwan Bhel, Karam Bhel and Dinesh Bhel – striking her with wooden sticks and saying, "Stop crying. Will you run away again?"
Another video showed her relatives, including her father, assaulting her while she was tied up and hung from a tree.
FIR Registered Against Four People
Soon after the video went viral, Alirajpur Police took the cognizance of the matter and register an FIR against four persons under sections 294 (Obscene acts and songs), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 355 (Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person, intending thereby to dishonour that person), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.
“The FIR was registered against four persons under relevant sections of the IPC and they were rounded up,” said Vijay Bhagwani, superintendent of police, Alirajpur.
“The victim was taken to her mother after her medical checkup and I have asked the officials of the Department of Women and Child Development to look after her,” Bhagwani added.
'Runs Away From In-Law's House, Upsets Parents', Says Cop
Dilip Singh Bilwal, sub-divisional officer of Police, Jobat of Alirajpur district, said, "She was married three months ago to a 21-year-old man. Her family has taken three lakhs as dowry as per the tribal customs. But she often runs away from her in-laws' house, which upsets the parents."
"This time when she reached her home after running away from her in-laws' house, it irked the family. Alleging violation of tribal customs, the family members thrashed her in public on 28 June," he added.
He further said that the girl has been counselled by the women police officers twice and sent to her mother's home. "We have asked her to come again on Saturday at a one-stop centre for another counselling session to avoid further such incidents," he added.