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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

In Andhra, 17-year-old Dalit girl thrashed for wanting to marry cousin

The incident happened at K P Doddi village of Gummagatta block early this week, but came to light only on Friday, when a video of the “village panchayat” in which village elder Boya Linganna was seen slapping the girl repeatedly, beating her with a stick and kicking her went viral on social media.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2019 09:17 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
The police faced a strange situation when they rushed to the village on seeing the video footage, as none of the villagers and family members of the girl were willing to lodge a complaint. (Image used for representational purpose only).
The police faced a strange situation when they rushed to the village on seeing the video footage, as none of the villagers and family members of the girl were willing to lodge a complaint. (Image used for representational purpose only).(Getty Images.)
         

A 17-year-old Dalit girl was abused and thrashed mercilessly by a 70-year-old village elder for allegedly falling in love with her 20-year-old cousin and insisting on marrying him in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district, the police said.

The incident happened at K P Doddi village of Gummagatta block early this week, but came to light only on Friday, when a video of the “village panchayat” in which village elder Boya Linganna was seen slapping the girl repeatedly, beating her with a stick and kicking her went viral on social media.

The police, however, faced a strange situation when they rushed to the village on seeing the video footage, as none of the villagers and family members of the girl were willing to lodge a complaint.

“The villagers, including the girl’s parents and relatives, asked us to stay away, as it was a family matter. They did not even allow the girl to file a complaint,” Rayadurgam circle inspector Sainath said.

He said the villagers treated Linganna with high respect and even threatened to stage a dharna if the police arrested him. “Yet, we registered a suo motu case against Linganna under Section 324 of Indian Penal Code (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means),” he said, adding that no arrest had been made so far.

According to the police, the girl’s parents had approached Linganna to resolve the issue, when the girl was adamant on marrying her cousin. He called all the villagers to a village panchayat and summoned both the girl and the young man along with their parents.

After listening to the versions of the parents, Linganna and other elders advised the couple to forget their love, as they were cousins. But the girl revolted and insisted that she be married to him.

Enraged at her stubborn answer, Linganna suddenly got up and slapped her using abusive language. He thrashed her several times and kicked her. He also beat her cousin with a stick. The video footage shows even the girl’s father trying to beat the girl.

Later, the girl was sent home with her parents and the boy was warned against meeting her, the police said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2019 00:03 IST