BHOPAL: As many as 12 tribal men have been arrested in Jhabua district of West MP for allegedly forcing a 27-year-old tribal woman to parade across the village with husband on shoulders – as punishment pronounced by her clan’s elders for eloping with a man from another tribe.
According to Jhabua district police superintendent Vineet Jain, all 12 accused men, including the woman’s husband Shankar were arrested within 24 hours of the case being registered against them under Sections 323, 506, 354B and 342 of IPC on Saturday.
The incident took place on Friday when the woman belonging to the Patliya tribe was forced to allegedly parade around her village amid drum beats and teasing sounds from villagers – as punishment from her clan for allegedly eloping with a Bheel tribe man in Jhabua district of West Madhya Pradesh.
Not only was the woman forced to parade around the village with smiling husband on shoulders, but was repeatedly flogged with sticks by dancing villagers, many of whom also clicked pictures and shot videos of the savage act with pride.
The chilling episode happened in Devigarh village under Thandla police station area of Jhabua district (around 340 km from Bhopal) on Friday evening, but it became public, after videos of shocking episode went viral over social media on Saturday.
The Jhabua district police superintendent Vineet Jain directed the cops to lodge a case under Sections 354B, 323, 506 and 342 of IPC against over a dozen accused, including her husband Shankar Rathod.
Initial probe has revealed that the woman had recently gone to her paternal village, around three km from her husband’s village, where she fell in love with a younger Bheel tribal man and allegedly eloped with him.
However, she returned to her parents place a few days later and the matter was resolved by a tribal panchayat in parents village. She subsequently returned home with husband.
But once in husband’s Devigarh village, elders of family and other Patliya tribal men pronounced the cruel punishment to her of parading husband on shoulders throughout the village on Friday.
It’s not the first time such an act of cruel tribal justice happened with a married woman for eloping with a lover in tribal-dominated districts of West MP, as several similar incidents have happened in the past also.
In January 2015, a 25-year-old married woman was forced to breastfeed her lover (with whom she had eloped) on the diktat of a Bheel tribal panchayat in Alirajpur district.
In October 2013, as many as 20 tribal men were arrested for allegedly stripping a married woman and her lover and forcing them to parade through the village amid drum beats for allegedly eloping.