MP: Panchayat forces woman to breastfeed lover

  • Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Alirajpur/Indore
  • Updated: Jan 02, 2015 23:09 IST

A 25-year-old married woman who eloped with a man from her village was allegedly forced to breastfeed him on the orders of a tribal village council in Madhya Pradesh's Alirajpur district.

The Bhil tribal panchayat in Alirajpur district, around 200 km west of Indore, also cut the hair of the woman and the man, who is in his early 20s, as it handed out the punishment on the last day of 2014.

According to the complaint lodged by the woman with the police on Thursday, the panchayat ruling was carried out in front of fellow villagers.

She has named one Nakedia and 11 others in her complaint.

The police have been told that the woman and the man eloped to Gujarat, which borders Alirajpur, a few days ago.

"The villagers came to know of the incident and brought the couple back. A panchayat was called and it allegedly ordered that hair of both be cut. Later, the woman was allegedly forced to breastfeed the man in the presence of villagers," Alirajpur superintendent of police (SP) Akhilesh Jha said on Friday.

"The police have detained some suspects and they are being questioned," Jha added.

In Bhil-dominated pockets of Alirajpur, adherence to the tribal legal system is very strong. Bhil panchayats sit in judgment and impose penalties by their own set of rules.

For instance, the penalty for rape ranges between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.

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