Three members of the Kanjarbhat community in Maharashtra were attacked by the people of the community for opposing the practice of a virginity test of the bride on the night of the wedding, reported ANI.
The youth were attacked after they formed a WhatsApp group called ‘Stop the V Ritual’ to bring together like-minded people from the community and spread awareness against the ill practice. The incident took place in Pimpri area of Pune.
According to the custom prevalent in the Kanjarbhat community, the village panchayat spreads a white bedsheet on the wedding night of the couple.
If the sheet is found stained with red colour, then the woman passes the test, otherwise she is accused of having a physical relationship prior to her marriage. The tests are often performed without the woman’s consent.
According to ANI, an FIR has been arrested against 40 people in the case, and two people have been arrested.
According to Siddhant Indrekar, an activist who spoke to The Quint, the panchayat asks the groom the next day if the bride is a ‘virgin or not’. If she is not a virgin, the bride is asked who she lost her virginity to and both are penalised.
Indrekar said that the ‘penalty’ is mostly monetary and varies from woman to woman. Unwillingness of the girl or the boy’s family to do so results in them being socially boycotted. Unwillingness to participate in the bizarre ritual too gets the family ostracised.
The group now has over 40 members. While many continue to join the fight, some are forced to distance themselves after being pressurised by their family members.
(With inputs from ANI)
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