Love In Gujarat: Twenty-Three Arrested In Patan Couple-Shaming Case - Vibes Of India

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Love In Gujarat: Twenty-Three Arrested In Patan Couple-Shaming Case

| Updated: November 22, 2021 12:19

Praveen Darji

At least 23 people have been arrested so far for the alleged torture and couple-shaming incident within the Vadi community that took place in Harij village in Patan, Gujarat, on November 10, a police official associated with the case said. A fourteen-year-old Girl, Kamala, and her lover, an adult and her distant relative, had faced the ire of their own Vadi community in Patan, Gujarat, when the two eloped to Dakor on November 10. The couple was traced by community members and brought back to the village. Both of them were shamed and tortured by the community members. In order to ‘purify’ her, the minor girl was tonsured and her face blackened, while the couple was paraded in the village as a punishment.

Earlier, 35 people from the community had been booked in an FIR on November 12, under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 509 (insulting modesty of woman) of the IPC, and provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, stated a police officer associated with the case.

While the incident took place on November 9, Patan police learnt about it on Friday, November 12, as videos of the torture went viral. Patan SP Akshayraj Makwana on Friday issued orders to the Local Crime Branch and Harij police to investigate the videos and arrest all those seen torturing the woman. Following Makwana’s instruction, the 23 accused were arrested.

The Vadi youth who had eloped with the minor was booked under relevant sections of the POCSO Act and IPC sections 363 (kidnapping) and 376 (3) (rape). As per an FIR lodged against the man, the girl was abducted and taken to Dakor in Kheda district where she was raped by the accused, the police said.

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Special inquiry by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has ordered a special inquiry in the matter. Further investigation has been handed over to the district level officer of the social justice empowerment department. Patan district collector Suprit Singh Gulati and police chief Akshay Raj Makwana have also been instructed to take immediate action in this matter.

Police are still accessing and analysing the large number of videos in circulation and are searching for more people seen in the videos.

On November 13, the Minister of Women, Children and Welfare – Manisha Vakil met Kamala in person at Dharpur Hospital in Patan and shared her condolences. She said that Kamla would be placed under the CWC department following the report of her health check-up and asked to take strict action against the culprits in this case. She also appealed to the leaders so that such incidents do not recur.
District Collector Suprit Singh Gulati, district police chief Akshay Raj Makwana and medical superintendent of Dharpur Hospital Dr. Manish Ramawat were present during the Minister’s visit.

Vadi, believed to be a nomadic tribe, had settled near Harij village about 15 years ago in a settlement. They enforce their own rules on community members.

Rules of Vadi community:

  • Building toilets inside the house are not allowed.
  • The community encourage open defecation. Separate areas are dedicated for men and women. Crossing the borders can be a punishable offense.
  • Divorce or separation is not permitted in the community.
  • Married couples are supposed to stay together for life. Remarriage of a widow needs approval from the community. The widow or her family can’t decide on remarriage on their own.

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