Maharashtra govt orders probe into 'stripping' of Dalit woman

Maharashtra govt orders probe into 'stripping' of Dalit woman

Taking cognisance of media reports pertaining to the “stripping” and “parading” of a Dalit woman by people belonging to the upper caste in Satara district early this week, the state government has ordered a high-level probe into the incident.

The probe will be carried out by Inspector-General of Police K L Bishnoi. He  has been asked to submit the report at the earliest as local police from Mulgaon village arrested five persons including three women in connection with the crime on Thursday evening.

Additional chief secretary (Home) U C Sarangi told presspersons here that the “preliminary information reveals that the arrested had brutally assaulted the victim Rekha Chavan.”

Satara is the home district of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and the trickling of the news of a woman allegedly being paraded naked from the interiors of Patan Tehsil in Satara, jolted the political parties, state machinery and women’s rights commission alike.

Reports said that a group of upper caste women instigated some influential people of Mulgaon village who accosted 42-year-old Rekha and assaulted her while she was returning after drawing water from a well near her house.

The motive behind the attack was that her son had allegedly eloped with a 17-year-old upper caste girl a month ago. While the state home department has confirmed the assault on Rekha.

Following pressure from Women’s Rights Commission and the media, the local police on Thursday arrested, the  girl’s father Kisan Desai (45) and mother Shantabai (35) along with Hambirao Desai (39), Vimal Desai (32) and Sunita Desai (35.) The arrested have been booked under IPC sections 143,149 (unlawful assembly,) section 354 (assault with intention to outrage women’s modesty) and section 324 (causing grievous hurt.)