Gujarat gang-rape victim ordered to undergo “purification ritual” by her community



Delhi Gang Rape Case

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Gujarat: In an embarrassing ordeal, a gang-rape victim in Gujarat has been asked by her community’s local courts to undergo “purification tests”. This order has added to the woes of the 23-year-old victim, who got pregnant after being raped for several months by more than five men. Even her petition for abortion was turned down by the Gujarat High Court, as she was too advanced in her pregnancy.

The victim is now living with her parents as her in-laws have disowned her. According to BBC’s report, the woman’s parents are concerned that the baby she is soon to give birth to will affect the rest of the family. “I have two other children; both unmarried. If she delivers the baby and keeps it, then no one will marry them,” her mother was quoted by BBC .

“My 14-year-old son will get cast out. The only way out, is that she will have to undergo the ‘chokha thavani viddhi’ (purification ritual), and whatever the community decides, will be final,” she added.

This purification ritual, as per the report, is conducted by a Tantric (Shaman), who practices black magic. During the ritual, he asks the female a series of questions, and checks if she is telling the truth by taking a pinch of barley seeds from a bag, and asking her to say whether the number of seeds in his hand is an even number or odd number. If she answers correctly, she is considered as “purified”.

But if she answers incorrectly, she has to repeat the entire process, with a 10kg stone on her head. Once “purified” through this process, the woman is accepted in the society. Reportedly, this ritual is limited to only the villages of Gujarat’s Devipujak community, to which the victim belongs. This community follows a stringent caste and religious system, and has its own community courts which decide on various matters including infidelity and rape.