A group of about 40 people allegedly beat up youths in Pune’s Pimpri on Sunday night for banding together to fight a practice of the Kanjarbhat community panchayat. The youths had started a WhatsApp group named “Stop the V-ritual” to spread awareness about the panchayat conducting “virginity tests” of brides on the “first night” of marriage, The Indian Express reported.
The group allegedly beat up the youths at a wedding in Pimpri’s Bhat Nagar in Pune. A resident of the locality, Prashant Ankush Indrekar, filed a complaint with the Pimpri Police. He said he and his family were invited to the wedding, where he saw the panchayat holding a meeting on conducting the test on the bride after the ceremony concluded.
“There was a discussion supporting the virginity test of the bride, claiming it was a part of their tradition,” he told The Indian Express. “We did not oppose anyone at the spot, but they knew that my friends and I are part of the WhatsApp group ‘Stop the V-ritual’. So they got angry and questioned us, and then 30 to 40 youths, including Sunny Malke, the brother of the girl who got married on Sunday, attacked [us].”
Members of the WhatsAppp group have filed a complaint against the “virginity test” practice. Its founder, Vivek Tamaichekar, told ANI this was against Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution. “People here believe that this ritual should be done because it is our tradition and otherwise, our girls would be spoilt,” he said “We are protesting against that by spreading awareness.”