The Meghalaya Police on Monday arrested the main accused in a case of “moral policing”, in which a group of men assaulted a woman in Tura town in the West Garo Hills, PTI reported.

“She was assaulted by the group led by Biren Sangma, who did not like her presence in a picnic along with her other friends,” said Superintendent of West Garo Hills Police Dr MGR Kumar.

The group of men assaulted the woman allegedly because she was in a relationship with a man who was not from the Garo tribal community, NDTV reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.

In a video of the incident, which has been widely shared on social media, the group of men can be seen punching and kicking the woman, who is lying on the ground trying to shield herself. The men also pull her hair and kick her in the groin while bystanders watch.

“It is a clear case of moral policing,” a police officer said. “The woman is safe and is being counselled after she went through the ordeal.”

The police took suo motu cognisance of the crime and filed a First Information Report at the Phulbari Police Station on Sunday, though the woman has not lodged a complaint yet. They have deployed teams to look for an accomplice of the main accused, identified as Martin B Sanhave, who is absconding.