Madhya Pradesh: ‘Tribal court’ orders kin to hand over girl or pay Rs 2 lakh

By Express News Service

BHOPAL:  Kangaroo courts run by caste/tribal panchayats have raised their ugly head again in Madhya Pradesh. The latest case has been reported from tribal-dominated Betul district, where the parents of a 19-year-old Korku tribal girl have been ordered by their tribe’s panchayat to pay Rs 2 lakh to a Kerala-based contractor or hand over their daughter to him.

The girl who had went along with relatives and other villagers to Kerala for job some weeks back was allegedly put in confinement by the same contractor and he also sexually exploited her, the girl’s relatives alleged. It was with her brother’s help that the girl had managed to escape from Kerala and return to Betul.

But on Tuesday, the same contractor reached the girl’s village and alleged before a tribe panchayat that the girl’s parents had taken Rs 2 lakh from him in return for their daughter, but they were not letting her to go with him.  The girl’s mother alleged that she and her husband were not allowed to tell their side of the story before the panchayat. “We’ve have sent her to our relative’s place in another village. We haven’t taken even a single rupee from him,” she said.

The girl’s brother said it’s quite possible that the villagers with whom she went to Kerala might have taken money from the contractor. On Saturday, the girl’s family filed a complaint with the Betul police. Officials said a probe had been started .