Pune youths against virginity ritual assaulted by wedding party for filming it
Group of youths from community, trying to raise awareness against the ritual, were filming it at a wedding, when bride's family allegedly beat them up
Members of the 'Stop the V Ritual' group
It's 2018, but India refuses to lose its obsession with a woman's virginity. On Sunday, a group of youngsters who were trying to raise awareness about the wrongness of such practices in Pune by filming a very public 'virginity' ritual after a wedding, were beaten up by the bride's family.
The incident took place at Zhulelal complex in Bhatnagar in Pimpri on Sunday around 11.30 pm. Prashant Indrekar, a real estate agent who was part of the group of youngsters, has lodged a complaint at the Pimpri police station against the bride's brothers Sunny Malke, Vinayak Malke, Amol Bhat, Rohit Rawalkar, Mehul Tamchikar and others.
The youngsters, who are part of a WhatsApp group 'Stop the V ritual' that aims to stop such rituals, were at a wedding of the Kanjarbhat community. The practice to test the bride's virginity in the community, colloquially known as 'Maal khara ya Khota, (real goods or fake),' is carried out thus: after the newly married couple has engaged in intercourse for the first time following their wedding, they have to appear before the community. The groom is then asked the question 'Maal khara ya khota?' If he says 'khara' that means his wife was a 'virgin', but if he says 'khota' it means she wasn't one. If he says 'khota,' it either leads to the breakdown of the marriage or the bride's family has to pay 'compensation'.
They keep practising
Recalling the incident, Prashant said, "For the last three months, we have been asking community members not to follow such a ritual, but a few of them are still practicing it. We were invited for the wedding and thus present there. We noticed that people were handing out cash to the community heads as part of the ritual. We were filming the entire process as we are against such practices." "But then, the bride's brother saw us and we were beaten up, abused and manhandled. Our parents, who were also present there, were threatened with ouster from the community."
mid-day met the groom Keval Ghodage, who denied the incident and said, "This is a part of our customs and needs to be followed. We want to be part of society." A few pancha members of the community said, "These boys are notorious blackmailers. They are filming such issues and posting them on social media without our consent. They have nothing to do with this and we did not even abuse or manhandle them. They are defaming us and trying to malign our community's image through this publicity stunt." Confirming the incident DCP Ganesh Shinde said, "These boys were beaten up. Our team rushed to spot and we have registered the case. Based on the probe, 40 people have been booked. We shall arrest them soon."
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