Virginity test row: Mumbai cops reluctant to file cases under social boycott Act, say activists
The issue was highlighted after a group of youngsters from the Kanjarbhat tribe took to the social media to protest against the ‘mandatory’ virginity test by the panchayatUpdated: Jan 31, 2018 10:24 IST
Praful Bhosle, 28, a resident of Shivaji Park, and his family were boycotted from Ghadshi community around 18 years ago. The police seemed clueless about the Social Boycott Act when he went to file a complaint.
Though 16 first information reports (FIRs) have been filed under the Act, no action has been taken.
Taking cognisance of this, Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti and Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan have approached the state government with draft rules for approval.
“The police are hesitant in registering complaints under the Social Boycott Act because they believe that there could be a law and order problem as they are intra-community issues. Also, they are not aware of sections under which complaints can be registered,” said Nilesh Pawaskar, executive member, Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan.
The issue was highlighted after a group of youngsters from the Kanjarbhat tribe took to the social media to protest against the ‘mandatory’ virginity test by the panchayat. There are cases of boycotting the people who opposed the test.
The Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016 came into force last year. Activists said the government has not stated the rules clearly.
“The Centre had asked the state government to make laws under the Act, but the authorities have failed to do so. We will start a year-long awareness drive on caste panchayat issues soon,” said Avinash Patil, state executive president of the Samiti.
However, advocate Ravi Jadhav said there were clearly defined sections under Code of Criminal Procedure under which a magistrate could ask the police to register a case. “The police usually turn away complainants,” said Jadhav.