18-Year-Old Indian Girl's Head Shaved by Village Elders To Make Her 'Less of a Temptation' After She Was Kidnapped

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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An 18-year-old Indian girl, who was kidnapped by her uncle in hopes of making her his bride, was punished by village elders by having her head ritually shaved.

16 village elders told police that the girl made herself “too attractive” and shaving her head was fitting punishment because it made her “less of a temptation.”

The teen was shopping in Chikhla, Madhya Pradesh, when her 53-year-old uncle abducted her. Her uncle is married already and has two children. His punishment was to walk around town wearing a garland of shoes, a symbol of disrespect, and a grinding stone around his neck.

Police are investigating the 16 village elders. 13 have been arrested and three more are sought by police.

"We are investigating an alleged assault,” a police spokesman said. “A number of people have been arrested and we are still tracking others down. We are treating this allegation of assault very seriously and will then decide what action to take."

The girl pled with the elders during the hair cutting rituals, telling them it had been her uncle’s actions, not hers. Men in the crowd yelled insults at her.

Her family brought the incident to the attention of police, criticizing the Panchayat – an assembly of village elders. Some villagers protested the police investigation, calling the tribal government ‘tradition.’

This tradition is not used in every region, but lives on often in remote areas in India where the Pachayat’s rule can be legally binding and not overturned.

Source: Daily News