In Andhra Pradesh, a 17 year old minor girl was beaten by village elders for eloping with her 20 year old cousin.
The girl is a minor belonging to the Dalit community and was a resident of the KP Doddi village in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh.
According to sources, the couple were in love and eloped from their houses to marry each other, but the villagers caught the couple and brought them back to the village.
The incident came to light when a video, in which the village elders were seen beating the girl and the boy with a stick, went viral on social media platforms.
On the 14th of August, at a caste panchayat, Boya Linganna, a 70 year old man, mercilessly beat the girl and the boy and warned them against continuing their relationship. The parents and other villagers were also at the spot when Boya Linganna hit the girl.
Although the incident took place last week, it got the attention of the media after the video went viral. B. Yesubabu, the District Police Chief of Anantapur, addressed NDTV and said despite witnessing the cruelty of Boya Linganna, no one from the village came forward to file a complaint against him.
Yesubabu said, “They (parents of the victim) say the elder intervened on their behalf and so they are not willing to complain.”
However, the Anantapur Police sent a lady constable to check the condition of the girl and asked her if she wants to file a complaint.
If the girl or her parents do not file any formal complaint, the police will file a case under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
On the other hand, Achyutha Rao, a child rights activist of Balala Hakkula Sangham, said she informed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights about the incident and demanded a case of attempt to murder and cruelty against children be filed under the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.
The police will soon file a case and launch an investigation for the same.
Stay tuned for further updates.