BJP-led Maharashtra government on Wednesday assured the state Legislative Assembly that it will take stern action against caste panchayats if they force newly married women to undergo ‘virginity test’ or found interfering in cases of rape or sexual harassment.
Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil assured of adequate action on women related issues responding to calling attention motion tabled by Shiv Sena’s Neelam Gorhe.
He added, “We will direct to register a criminal case if a panchayat forces a woman to undergo a virginity test.”
“The government will also take actions against panchayats if they are found interfering in sexual harassment or rape cases,” added the Minister of State.
He also informed the legislative assembly that will hold meeting with caste panchayats and socials activists to create social awareness on the issue.
Patil while tabling the motion at the Legislative Assembly said that newly married women are forced to undergo virgin test to prove their virginity before marriage in Kanharbhat community.
“The virginity test results are announced in public. The process is a violation of a woman’s right to privacy and dignity,” said Gorhe.
She also alleged that panchayats also interfere in sexual harassment and rape cases, “The panchayats try to settle rape cases outside the court,” she added.