Mob assaults tribal woman on camera in Madhya Pradesh, 3 arrested
A senior officer said that action was taken based on a video of the incident that went viral on social media on Saturday night
Three men were arrested for allegedly sexually harassing a tribal woman in Madhya Pradesh’s Alirajpur district on Sunday, police said, adding that the incident took place during Bhagoriya festival celebrations.
According to the police, the incident took place on Friday in the tribal-dominated Alirajpur district, around 392 km from Bhopal.
A senior officer said that action was taken based on a video of the incident that went viral on social media on Saturday night. In the purported video, a man was seen trying to assault the woman before another man intervened. Later, a group of men assaulted the woman while another group of men could be seen making video on their mobile.
On Sunday, police arrested three accused, all tribal men, and booked them under sections 354 (a) (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 34 (a) (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the senior officer said.
HT cannot independently verify the authenticity of the viral video.
Alirajpur superintendent of police Manoj Kumar Singh said, “After the video went viral, we took suo motu action. The victim has not come forward to file a complaint. On the basis of the video, we identified the men who sexually assaulted the woman. We have nabbed three of them while five others, who were shooting video and instigating the accused, are absconding. Police teams are trying to nab them.”
Some locals told police that the video was shot on Friday. The miscreants had come to participate in ‘Bhagoriya’, a festival celebrated across by the tribal communities, when the incident took place. Bhagoriya is celebrated across Madhya Pradesh every year a week before Holi.
Meanwhile, a tribal organisation, Jai Yuva Adiwasi Sangathan (JAYS), demanded action against local police for “not maintaining law and order during the festival”.
“During the festival celebration, police should have provided security to women. A woman was assaulted in a public place by many people. Police failed in maintaining law and order. Action should also be taken against police personnel of local police station,” JAYS convener Aannd Rai said.
The Congress said miscreants had no fear of the police.
“Tribal women are not safe in MP. According to NCRB data, highest number of rape cases with tribal women was registered in MP and this incident highlighted the plight of tribal women. The miscreants have no fear of police and that’s why they dared to assault the woman publicly. The chief minister should take cognisance in the matter,” state Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja said.