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FIR against 10 for banishing girl out of house for breaking bird egg

The State Human Rights Commission and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights have also taken cognisance of the case.

jaipur Updated: Jul 12, 2018 21:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Manan Chaturvedi at Haripura village on Thursday.(HT Photo)

An FIR has been lodged against 10 members of a Dalit village council (khap panchayat) in Bundi district for forcing a five-year-old girl from the community to stay in a hut outside her house as punishment for breaking an egg of a bird considered sacred.

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) have also taken cognisance of the case.

The victim, Khusboo, broke the egg of a red-wattled lapwing at her school in Bundi’s Haripura village on July 1. Her mother, Meena, 30, said the council was convened when the villagers came to know about it a day later. She said the khap ordered them not to let Khusboo enter the house for three days and keep her in a hut in the backyard for breaking the egg. Meena said the punishment was extended to 10 days when the girl’s father, Hukumchand Regar, 35, a daily wager, confronted the khap and refused to accept the diktat.

The child’s plight came to light after her father complained to the area ‘tehsildar’ (revenue official) that the community head was demanding costly wine and various snacks besides fodder to cows and edibles for fishes to end her ostracisation.

This made the ‘tehsildar’ sit up and take note of the girl’s ordeal and rush to the village with personnel of local Hindoli police station and warn the community members against continued ostracisation of the child and urge them to revoke it.

Hukumchand lodged an FIR against 10 members of the Haripura village khap. Circle inspector, Hindauli police station, Bundi, Lakshman Singh said that police have lodged an FIR against Cheetarlal Regar, Onkar Regar, Durgalal Regar, Chaturbhuj Regar, Raghunath Regar, Kalu Regar, Moddu Regar, Gyarsilal Regar, Ramdeva Regar and Ramesh Regar.

The FIR has been lodged under various penal provisions, including sections 384 (extortion), 508 (putting a person in the fear of divine displeasure) 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, Section 75 (exposing a child to various acts of cruelty like abandoning or neglecting it) of the Juvenile Justice Act and section 6 (for refusing to sell goods or provide various services after declaring a person untouchable) of the Untouchability Act.

Singh said that action will be taken against the khap members after the investigation.

Chairperson of SCPCR Manan Chaturvedi also visited Haripura village on Thursday where she met the victim and her family. She rebuked the khap and instructed the child welfare committee of Bundi to lodge an FIR against the khap members.

Chaturvedi also instructed the additional district magistrate, ceiling, Bundi, to provide free LPG connection under the Ujjawala scheme, free foodgrains under the food security scheme, toilet construction and electricity connection to the victim’s family, after which 30 kg of wheat and an LPG connection was issued on the spot.

“The girl sat on a charpoy under the scorching sun since July 3 and was not allowed to enter her own house. As she cried, her mother, despite feeling sympathetic to her, could not even hug her as the village heads had strictly forbidden it,” Chaturvedi said.

Meanwhile, the State Human Rights Commission has also taken cognisance of the matter and has sought a report from the Bundi district collector and SP till July 19. Chairperson of the SHRC, Justice Prakash Tatia has called the incident as “shameful and violation of human rights”.

The red-wattled lapwing is considered sacred in rural areas since villagers make guesses about monsoon as per the birds’ egg-laying patterns. Religious beliefs have helped protect the species.

Enraged by the girl’s father reporting the matter to the authorities, the community head declared the entire family of the girl outcast for life on Wednesday night.

With inputs from agencies

First Published: Jul 12, 2018 21:55 IST