Molestation victim’s hair cut as purification ritual in Chhattisgarh

A 13-year-old girl’s hair was cut by people from her community as part of a “purification ritual” after she was allegedly molested by a man in Chhattisgarh’s Kawardha district, police said on Monday.

The man was arrested and a search was on for the community members who had ordered and carried out the “ritual”, officials said.

The hair-cutting incident occurred on February 5 in a village under the Kukdur police station, around 75 km away from the district headquarter, Superintendent of Police, Kawardha, Lal Umed Singh said.

Narrating the sequence of events, Singh said, “On January 21, the girl was molested by a person identified as Arjun Yadav (22) when she had gone to work at a construction site in the area. Following this, she informed her parents who informed the local village panchayat.”

The official said that the panchayat disposed off the matter the next day by imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 on Yadav.

“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,” the SP said.

“The community members also ordered that the girl’s hair be chopped off in order to purify her,” he said, adding that the girl’s hair was cut the next day.

Her family also had to organise a feast for members of the community, the SP said.

He said that when the incident came to light, a police team was sent to the village and Yadav, who was accused of molestation, was arrested.

“At least 10 people, including three women, who were involved in chopping off the girl’s hair, are at large and efforts are on to trace them,” the officer said.

He said that a case had been registered in this connection. PTI