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5-Yr-Old Declared An ‘Outcast’ in Rajasthan, Case Filed Against 10

The girl was declared an outcast after she broke sandpiper’s eggs which is considered a bad omen.

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The police on Thursday, 12 July, filed a case against ten members of a village in Bundi district, Rajasthan, for allegedly declaring a five-year-old scheduled caste girl an "outcast" and depriving her of proper food, care and shelter, an official said.

The case was registered on the order of the state's Child Rights Panel Chief Manan Chaturvedi, who swung into action after the plight of the hapless child came to her notice.

Earlier, following a diktat by community elders, the girl was barred from entering her home, left to stay in the front courtyard and survive on loaves thrown in her plate from a distance by her pregnant mother.

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‘Declared an Outcast For Breaking Sandpiper’s Eggs’

Hindoli Police station SHO Laxman Singh said a case was registered against ten persons on the afternoon of 12 July.

The girl was declared an outcast, initially for three days and then for another eight days, after she unwittingly damaged sandpiper's eggs in her school.

The girl was ordered to undergo punishment based on local superstition that breaking of sandpipers' eggs was a bad omen and could deprive the village of rain.

The child's plight came to light after her father complained to the area tehsildar (revenue official) that the community head was demanding costly wine and snacks, besides fodder for cows and edibles for fish, to end her ostracisation.

The tehsildar and other officials rushed to the village along with police personnel yesterday and warned the community members against continuing the ostracisation of the child.

Enraged that the girl's father had reported the matter to the authorities, the community head, last night, declared the entire family of the girl an outcast for life.

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Chaturvedi took note of the incident and visited the village on 12 July. What she witnessed appalled her.

Following a stern order by Chaturvedi, the police lodged an FIR under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Juvenile Justice Act and the Untouchability Act against ten persons of the village.

The FIR was lodged under various penal provisions, including sections 384 (extortion), 508 (putting a person in the fear of divine displeasure) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, section 75 (exposing a child to various acts of cruelty like abandoning or neglecting) of the Juvenile Justice Act and section 6 (for refusing to sell goods or provide various services after declaring a person untouchable) of the Untouchability Act.

The community leaders who were named in the FIR include Chittar Lal, Onkar, Durga Lal, Chaturbhuj, Raghunath, Kalu, Moddu, Giyarsilal, Ramdev and Moddu.
Laxman Singh, SHO, Hindoli Police Station

Following Chaturvedi's intervention, the child's family was also given a gas connection and two months of ration, officials said. The family was also promised an electric connection, benefits of the food security scheme and funds for toilet construction, they said.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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