Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe on Wednesday in Pune
Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe on Wednesday in Pune

Virginity tests now a punishable offence in Maharashtra

ANI | Updated: Feb 07, 2019 17:11 IST

Pune (Maharastra) [India] Feb 07 (ANI): Maharashtra government is set to make 'virginity tests',  a punishable offence in the state and such cases will be dealt as sexual offences.
Maharastra Home Minister of State Ranjeet Patil on Wednesday said all the cases of the forced test will be dealt as a sexual assault and cases will be registered in the section related to sexual assault
His remarks came after he met with a delegation who had called on him to discuss the situation
Many girls and women from some nomadic tribes in the community are often forced to undertake tests to prove that they are virgins at the time of marriage.
The meeting was attended by officers from the home department, senior members from the committee against caste panchayat which was formed last year, the Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe along with members of the NGO Andhadhraddhata Niroopan Samiti, who are working to put an end to the derogatory practice.
Ranjeet Patil said that all the actions taken the caste panchayat will be reported to the committee, which was formed last year, and all kind of legal help will be provided to the affected families and persons.  
Speaking to ANI, Neelam Gorhe said, "We were getting reports of harassment by women who claim they are being threatened with expulsion from the community if they fail to pass virginity tests that caste panchayats impose on them. I met Ranjeet Patil to discuss empower the committee formed against caste panchayat." 
"During the meeting, it was unanimously decided that complaints in this regard can be filed with the concerned deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) or crime against women cells. The legal service authority will provide essential help to the victims. The minister has agreed to issue a notification in this regard,” Gorhe said. 
Last year, some youngsters in Pune had formed a WhatsApp group, 'Stop the V Ritual' to spread awareness against the derogatory practice of determining the virginity of brides.  (ANI)