Police on Wednesday arrested five persons for allegedly assaulting and parading naked a tribal woman and her paramour at a Madhya Pradesh village. The husband of the woman is among the accused.
Though the incident at Meghlakhali village in Ratlam district occurred on Monday, it came to the fore on Tuesday evening after video-clippings of the incident filmed by some villagers went viral, drawing attention of police officials.
Madhya Pradesh recorded 12,887 cases—the second highest in the country after Maharashtra—of sexual offences against women in 2015, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data released earlier this year.
Ratlam superintendent of police Avinash Sharma said 13 people have been booked under different sections of IPC and the IT Act.
While the victim’s husband and four relatives were arrested, eight others are on the run. Both the victims and the accused are tribal, the SP said.
The SP said the woman later claimed that Bahadur Madhai (24), a father of three, with whom she had eloped, allegedly raped her. She also wants to go back to her husband, he added.
Sharma said the woman, a mother of two, was married to a Meghlakhali villager. But a few months back she fell in love with Bahadur and eloped with him on October 28 from Dhabhaipada village, where she went to meet some of her relatives.
Later their relatives lodged a missing complaint at Deendayal Nagar police station.
On Monday the relatives managed to locate them at Maudipada village and forcibly brought the couple to Meghlakhali village. There woman’s husband and some of her in-laws stripped them naked to their waists and paraded them in the village.
Some villagers filmed the act, which continued for an hour in public view.
As video clips of the incident went viral in WhatsApp and other social media, local police swung into action and booked all the accused on charges of sexual harassment, obscenity and criminal conspiracy.