Maharashtra: Failed ‘virginity test’, woman faces jaat panchayat-approved divorce order from husband

Kolhapur: In a shocking incident reported from Maharashtra’s Kolhapur, two sisters, married in November last year, are presently facing divorce orders after one of them failed to clear ‘virginity test’, a report stated on Saturday.

The sister duo tied the knot with a pair of brothers in Kolhapur on November 27, 2020. Both families belonged to Kanjarbhat community. The sisters, after the wedding, were subjected to the community’s controversial tradition of checking whether their hymen was intact. They had intercourse with their respective husbands on a plain white cloth in separate rooms.

Bloodstains on the white cloth are considered to be the proof of the bride’s virginity. While one of the women passed the controversial test of virginity, the other was accused of being involved with other men as she didn’t bleed during intercourse.

After this, the husbands and in-laws demanded Rs 10 lakh from the sister duo and threatened to cut ties with them. The sisters were also physically assaulted and later sent back to their parents’ home. Subsequently, the mother of the sister duo contacted ‘jaat panchayat’ members, who then demanded Rs 40,000 to resolve the matter. After the money was paid to the members of the caste panchayat, a meeting was held at a temple in February this year.

“Accordingly, in February 2021, a ‘jaat panchayat’ was organised at a temple. The complainant alleged that members of this panchayat consented to the end of marriage. The complainant also alleged that she was boycotted by her community,” a report published by The Indian Express stated.

Following this, the sister duo and their mother approached the police for help. On the basis of their complaint, the police have booked the two sister’s husbands, mother-in-law and some members of the caste panchayat under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. Relevant charges under the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act have also been slapped on the accused.

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