The accused assaulted the couple and made a video of the attack to circulate it and deter other tribal youth in the community from falling in love.
The Chhota Udaipur district police in Gujarat have arrested nine men on Wednesday for allegedly abducting and flogging a tribal girl and boy of Chiliyavant village who were reportedly in a love relationship.
The accused have been identified as Ditali Dhanak, Gordhan Dhanak, Raju Rathwa, Reshma Dhanak, Guman Dhanak, Revji Dhanak, Raniya Dhanak, Kaliya Dhanak and Arvind Dhanak — all residents of Chiliyavant village.
The Rangpur police station in the district has lodged an FIR based on the complaint of the girl, 18, stating that the accused were opposed to the love relationship she had with the 19-year-old boy. They assaulted the couple and made a video of the attack to circulate it and deter other tribal youth in the community from falling in love.
In her complaint, the girl said, “My male friend and I are adults and in a love relationship. We intend to eventually marry and live with each other. On July 18, both of us left our homes out of our own will to stay with a relative of my friend in a neighbouring village. When we were not found at home, a few villagers from our village went to our homes and threatened our parents, abused them and accused them of tainting the culture of the community by encouraging our relationship. They also threatened to kill us.”
According to the FIR, on the morning of July 19, the accused abducted the couple from the house of the boy’s brother-in-law and threatened them that they would be killed for dishonouring the community. The accused brought the couple back to the village and tied them to a tree before beating them up with bamboo sticks. One of the accused filmed the flogging as the group did not allow anyone from the village to come forward to help the couple. The girl and the boy work as daily wage labourers, the complainant said.
The complainant also mentioned that both the families, especially the parents of the boy and girl, are facing threats from the accused.
NM Bhuriya, sub-inspector of Rangpur police station, told The Indian Express, “the girl and the boy are adults, aged 18 and 19. While the boy is yet to reach marriageable age, they are adults and are allowed to be able to make their own decision regarding their relationship.”
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