Woman allegedly forced to hold red-hot iron rods to 'prove chastity'

Indore: A court ordered cases to be registered against four people, including a woman's husband and mother-in-law, for allegedly forcing her to "prove" her "chastity" in front of a community panchayat by holding red-hot iron rods, if she wanted to live with her husband.

 Woman allegedly forced to hold red-hot iron rods to prove chastity

Representational image. Reuters

The complainant was allegedly asked to "prove her "chastity" by holding red-hot iron rods with her palms ("agnipariksha") over which leaves of plants coated with oil were kept, her lawyer Santosh Khoware told PTI in Indore on Wednesday.

The court ordered registration of the case under Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the woman's husband, mother-in-law and their two close relatives, the complainant's lawyer said.

The complainant, who belongs to the Kanjar community, got married in 2007. After some time, her husband and her in-laws allegedly demanded Rs 2 lakh in the name of dowry and started harassing her physically and mentally, her lawyer said.

Later, they "suspected" her "character" and demanded that she "prove" her "chastity" in front of the local community panchayat.

When she and her parents refused to appear before the community panchayat which her in-laws called, panchayat heads asked their community to socially boycott them from all functions, the complainant said.

Her complaint stated that she and her family were socially boycotted since February and nobody invited them for any function nor came to her parent's house.

Meanwhile, Kanjar community's Madhya Pradesh head, Shashi Khatabia termed the allegations levelled against the panchayat as "hollow" and added that it had "nothing" to do with it.

She claimed that practices like "agnipariksha" were already "a thing of the past" and such traditions had "no relevance" in "modern" society.

PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 24, 2014 13:52:20 IST