First case under Maharashtra’s new law against social boycott registered in Pune
The case was filed by 11 complainants against 17 committee members of Pune Telugu Modelvar Parit Samaj with Umesh Rudrap (51) as the main complainant.pune Updated: Jul 19, 2017 11:44 IST
The first case under the newly introduced Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention Prohibition and Redressal) Actwas registered at Kondhwa police station in Pune on Monday.
The case was filed by 11 complainants against 17 committee members of Pune Telugu Modelvar Parit Samaj with Umesh Rudrap (51) as the main complainant.
“This is definitely a step forward. Change can happen with speed and this case stands proof of that. The people who have filed the case have been ostracised for a long time. The non-constitutional punishment that they have been undergoing should stop,” said Hamid Dabholkar, son of late rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and member ofMaharashtra Andhshradha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS).
Two of Rudrap’s relatives, Yeltappa Indurkar (65) and Nandakishore Ratnapal (65), who were part of the committee were removed from the socio-religious group.
Indurkar, a retiree, claims to have been removed from the group after his son married a woman from a different caste.Shirish Chandrakant Indurkar (42) and Rekha Shirish Indurkar (40) married each other in a court, against their families’ will, in 1996. A housewife, Rekha fondly remembers when she first met Shirish in Aurangabad, from where she hails. While Shirish was pursuing college-education, Rekha took tuition classes from his grandfather, she said. They knew each other for 3 years before getting married, she said as her teenage son, who recently passed Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC)examination, listens in.
Their families took 2-3 months to warm up to them, she said. However, what followed was socialostracism for the family, she said. After years of missing out on cultural and social activities like marriages and annual functions, Indurkar started sending applications to the committee to include them in the activities in 2009. However, the applications never received any response, said Indurkar.
Indurkar’s other son, Santosh married a girl from the‘samaj’ and has been an integral part of the social activities organised by the committee, said Indurkar.
Ratnapal is another former member of the‘samaj’ who was allegedly kept out of social activities by the head of the committee after his son married a girlwithout the head’s permission even though the girl was from the ‘samaj’. The current head of the committee is Rajendra Narsu Mhakale, according to the police.
The other complainants in the case also have similar stories of social ostracism, according to the complainant.
The Maharashtra government passed theSocial Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to its implementation on July 12. Under the new law, the accused could get three years in jail or a fine up to ₹1 lakh or both.
The law is a brainchild of Narendra Dabholkar, an anti-superstition crusader who was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013.