Torture of a tribal woman in Palamu district of Jharkhand

On May 14, 2023, a 14-year-old Oraon tribal woman was subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment at the order of the village panchayat (council) at Jogidih village under the Paton police station in Palamu district of Jharkhand. The victim is orphaned and was living with her brothers. She refused to marry a man of her kin’s choice. On May 14, 2023, a panchayat of 200 men and women was organised at Jogidih village to try her alleged ‘crime’ of refusing to marry. The Panchayat ordered her to get married to the person arranged by her family without her consent, but she refused to obey the order. So, the panchayat ordered her hair to be cut and sent her out of the village. At the order of the panchayat, the victim was beaten up and her locks of hair were chopped off.

The victim was also garlanded with shoes and paraded in the village and finally left in the forest at night. After receiving information, the police rescued her from the forest after hours of search and admitted her to Raja Medini Rai Medical College and Hospital in Palamu for treatment. There were injury marks on several parts of her body.

IRAC sought the immediate intervention of the National Human Rights Commission including the arrest and prosecution of the culprits under the provisions of law including the SC/ST Act.