A tribal man was tied to a tree and beaten up by two other members of his community for allegedly failing to pay them 'deja' (reverse dowry) for his son’s wedding, in Barwani district.
Following a formal complaint by the victim on Saturday, the police have lodged a case against Har Ji (maternal uncle of the girl) and Madan Singh (Bhil community’s chief) under IPC sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation), said Barwani superintendent of police Jitendra Singh Kushwah.
The police officer said the son of Manka alias Montu, a resident of Har Ki Baidi village, and Har Ji’s niece were in love and they eloped about six months ago. The two haven’t returned since then.
In the tribal community, the groom’s father has to pay reverse dowry to the bride’s father or guardian. There was no problem with the marriage, Kushwah said, as both families were tribals, but non-payment of the reverse dowry by Manka became a bone of contention. A compromise had been thrashed out at a panchyat meeting, but Manka didn’t pay up.
On Thursday, Manka was at Sajwani village for some work where the accused met him and asked for the dowry. When Manka failed to give the money, the duo tied him to a tree on the Sendhwa-Barwani road and beat up with sticks. They released him only after public pressure.
Taking suo motu cognisance of the media reports about the incident, police arrested the two accused on Friday but released them on bail the next day.
Initially, Manka didn’t report the matter to the police and disappeared out of fear and shame. On Saturday afternoon, however, he came to police with his brother-in-law and revealed the actual cause behind the incident.