Married Woman Tonsured In Public View For Opposing Dowry In Odisha’s Sambalpur

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Sambalpur: In spite of stringent law against dowry, a young woman had to suffer the humiliation of being tonsured in public on the order of the community elders for opposing the social menace in the district recently.

According to the complaint filed by the victim at Kuchinda police station, a quarrel broke out between the 25-year-old married woman and her husband’s two sisters, Jayanti Majhi and Saraswati Kisan, over dowry at Paruabhadi village on February 5. The two sisters blamed the mother of two for not bringing any dowry.

As the argument escalated, Saraswati screamed at the victim who resisted by pressing her sister-in-law’s mouth with her hands. It led the victim’s mother-in-law Dukhi Chhatria to intervene. Later, Dukhi and her daughters thrashed the victim while the latter’s husband was away, according to a TNIE report.

Not satisfied with it, Dukhi and Saraswati moved their community in the village. On February 7, a meeting of the community members was held at the house of the victim in presence of her husband, Dukhi and her two daughters.

After hearing the matter, the community elders unanimously announced that since the victim raised hand at her elder sister-in-law, she should be slapped with a fine of Rs 6,000. They also ordered the victim’s head be tonsured for her ‘misbehaviour’.

Though the woman’s husband offered to pay more fine to save his wife from being tonsured, the Kangaroo court turned down his plea and the victim was tonsured in full public view. Members of the community warned that they would ostracise the family for life if they reported matter to police.

However, the resolute victim filed a complaint on the matter at Kuchinda police station on Tuesday. Police have arrested Dukhi and her two daughters after registering a case.

Kuchinda IIC Kamal Panda said the members of the community, who are responsible for such a heinous act, will be apprehended soon. The accused have been booked under Sections 455, 452, 355, 254 (b), 294, 506, 498(a), 34  of the IPC and Section 4 of Dowry Prevention Act.

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