Members of a tribal community in Chhattisgarh’s Kawardha district tonsured a 13-year-old girl’s head as part of a “purification ritual” after a man allegedly molested her, PTI reported on Tuesday. The police said they have arrested the man accused of molesting her and are looking for the members of the girl’s community who chopped off her hair.
The incident took place on February 5 in a village around 75 km from the district headquarters, Superintendent of Police Kawardha Lal Umed Singh told the news agency. “On January 21, the girl was molested by a person identified as Arjun Yadav when she had gone to work at a construction site in the area,” Singh said. “Following this, she informed her parents who informed the local village panchayat.”
The panchayat fined Yadav Rs 5,000 and disposed of the matter. “However, on February 4, the Baiga Adivasi community, to which the girl belongs, convened a meeting and ostracised her family stating that their daughter had become impure due to the molestation incident,” Singh said. The next day the girl’s hair was chopped off and her family had to organise a feast for members of the community.
The police are now looking for those who gave the order and those who tonsured her head, ANI reported. “At least 10 people who were involved in chopping off the girl’s hair are at large and efforts are on to trace them,” Singh said.