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  Jat panchayat’s virginity test outrages social activists

Jat panchayat’s virginity test outrages social activists

Published : Jun 2, 2016, 3:23 am IST
Updated : Jun 2, 2016, 3:23 am IST

A recent incident has taken women’s rights activists by storm, when a jat panchayat in Dhulegaon of Sangamner tehsil of Ahmednagar District, allegedly directed a bridegroom to forsake his wife citing

A recent incident has taken women’s rights activists by storm, when a jat panchayat in Dhulegaon of Sangamner tehsil of Ahmednagar District, allegedly directed a bridegroom to forsake his wife citing her virginity. Arjun Narayan Karale (27), was asked to forsake his wife Yogita Kishore Abhiakar (20) by the panchayat on the assumption that the newly wed wife was not a virgin.

It was only after an uproar from social activists, the jat panchayat grudgingly decided to let the matter rest. The incident occurred on May 22 when the couple got married. The bride is an athlete and currently pursuing for recruitment in the police force, while the groom works as a plumber.

 

Narrating the incident, Krishna Chandgude and Adv Ranjana Pagar-Gawande, leaders of Andhashraddha Nirmulan, Samiti, an organisation fighting superstition, said that after the marriage was consummated, the jat panchayat members, who were waiting outside, allegedly asked the bridegroom whether the bride was a virgin. The bridegroom showed them the unsoiled white bedsheet and angrily replied in the negative.

The jat panchayat members immediately passed a judgment annulling the marriage. The bridegroom’s family picked up the dower including the mangalsutra (necklace) and went away. When social activists learnt about the issue they initiated a campaign. Andhashraddha Nirmulan, Samiti activists too reached the spot on Tuesday night and spoke to the affected family and the jat panchayat members.

 

Subsequently, a meeting was held by the jat panchayat on Wednesday. Fearing the law as the matter had become public, the jat panchayat resolved to allow the couple to live as husband and wife. The bridegroom said that it was a misunderstanding due to a dispute between the families. “We have now resolved the issue amicably and I am taking my bride home,” he said.

However Adv Ranjana demanded that, “The bridegroom give an undertaking, that he would honour and respect the bride, to sub divisional police officer (SDPO) Ajay Deore,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Women’s Commission has asked Nashik police to robe the alleged virginity test episode in that district and submit a report.