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Tribal woman paraded naked

By Manas Dasgupta

BARODA, APRIL 28. A tribal woman was tonsured and allegedly paraded naked for marrying against the wishes of her parents a person `lower' in the Adivasi caste hierarchy.

According to reports reaching here, the incident took place about a week ago in Sanada village in the tribal-dominated Chhota- Udepur taluka of Baroda district in central Gujarat.

Shockingly, the 22-year-old Chaulibenher's father, Narsinh Rathwa, supported the atrocity and it was under his leadership that about 100 tribals, armed with traditional weapons, stormed her husband's house and dragged her back to her parents.

Her pleas for help went unheeded - her garments were removed by force, head tonsured and her body blackened with lime paste and she was paraded through the village with a large number of people following her, beating drums and hurling abuses.

A couple of days later, she, managed to break free from her parents and returned to her husband's house in the forest under the cover of night.

According to the reports, her choice of Philji Nayak as her husband was opposed by her parents and others in her village. Besides, Philji was already married and was father of four children. As per tribal customs, her father and the villagers imposed a ``penalty'' of Rs. 1.10 lakhs on Philji to accept him as the bridegroom. Philji, however, expressed inability to pay such a huge amount and was negotiating for a reduction.

The Rathwas refused to budge, and on Philji's refusal to part with the money, instigated Chauliben's father and other villagers to abduct her.

Neither side, however, has lodged any police complaint in this regard.

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