The incident, which took place in Bhagwana village of Khandwa district, came to light on Tuesday, 23 August, after a video of the girl on a cot went viral on social media.
Narrating the alleged incident, the girl said, "I was passing through near a temple and there was an event on Janmashtami going on. Some of the Mali (a caste in MP) people shouted at me, saying that I am from a lower caste and asked me why I was passing through that road?"
The girl further said that when she asked them not to shout and use casteist slurs, the accused, including some women, started beating her up.
The other side, however, claimed that the girl’s father entered the village temple’s Janmashtami programme in an inebriated state and began dancing, leading to objections from other attendees.
They added that an argument broke out between the father and the attendees, during which his family members, including his 15-year-old daughter, arrived at the scene and were beaten up along with the father.
What Did the Police Say?
A case under Sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, was registered in the Khalwa police station of Khandwa district.
Khalwa police station incharge Parasram Davar said:
"We received information about the dispute and both the parties came to the police station to file a report. We have registered an FIR against 9 people under SC/ST Act and other sections on the complaint of one minor. On the complaint of another complainant, Uma Bai Mali, a case has been registered against 5 people.”
In another incident on Friday, 19 August, in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district, an OBC woman sarpanch and other elected Dalit representatives of Jariyari village panchayat were allegedly attacked by goons.
A case under relevant sections of the IPC and SC/ST Act was registered, however, the victims claimed that the perpetrators were allowed to easily walk free by the police and administration.