PUNE, 24 March 2006 — Within a span of a fortnight, a second incident of a woman belonging to lower caste being stripped and paraded naked was reported from the Beed district in Marathwada region of the western Maharashtra state.
In the shameful incident, the 30-year-old woman was first attacked with acid, assaulted and then paraded naked in daylight last Monday by three men and two women allegedly belonging to the upper caste.
The incident took place in village Chausala, where the accused resorted to the shameful act over a past rivalry. It may be recalled that on March 11, a 25-year-old low caste woman belonging to the Dalit community was beaten and paraded naked in Telgaon village in Solapur.
Raghunath Khaire, the superintendent of police, Beed, reached by phone, told Arab News that an offense has been registered against the six persons including the deputy chief of the village council, Rajendra Thorat, who has arrested and remanded to police custody.
Reliable sources said that the woman was called for a meeting by the accused on the pretext of settling some old disputes. When the victim arrived, she was assaulted by four accused woman and Thorat, who then tied her hands and feet, cut her hair and threw acid on her face, resulting in the loss of an eye, before pushing her out on the streets naked.
Dr. Shivaji Raut, the president of the District Council (Zilla Parishad), has demanded that the police also register a case of attempt to murder against the accused and also suspend the concerned police sub-inspector immediately for failing to take cognizance of the offense despite being informed of the incident.
Raut warned that the people of the district would resort to agitation. Raut along with Shepard community leader Bharat Sannar visited the victim at the district hospital and later submitted a memorandum of their demands to the superintendent.
A group of women lawyers also met the superintendent and demanded that a case of attempt to murder against all the accused be registered and stern action taken against the police sub-inspector who failed to provide protection to the victim.
The Bahujan Samaj Party district president Siddarth Shinde, criticized the district administration of turning a blind eye to the shameful incident and demanded immediate action, and spoke of his party resorting to agitation on the issue.