first_imgA woman in matrilineal Meghalaya filed an FIR against her village elders on Friday for burning her house as a punishment for remarrying.The woman, a 36-year-old mother of four, had been a widow before she married a 40-year-old man from the same village – Warmawsaw, about 50 km from Nongpoh, headquarters of Ri-Bhoi district – a fortnight ago.The Warmawsaw Dorbar (traditional village council) did not approve of this marriage and asked her to pay a fine of ₹32,000 if she wanted to stay in the village. The village elders did not explain how they arrived at the amount.The woman could not pay, and representatives of almost 300 families in the village burnt her house down on April 26 after she left for Nongpoh to visit her daughter. Her husband, a daily-wager, had also gone to a nearby village that day in search of work. “The villagers threw away part of her belongings in a river while the rest is being kept at the village Dorbar hall. We advised her not to return to her village and lodge a complaint,” rights activist Agnes Kharshiing said.Probe launched “The in-charge of Patharkhmah police outpost (Warmawsaw is under its jurisdiction) has been asked to investigate and submit a report by Monday. The State Women’s Commission is also looking into the case and members of the panel will go with the police to the village tomorrow (Saturday),” Spill Thamar, Superintendent of Police, Ri-Bhoi district, told The Hindu.Crime against womenMeghalaya-based women’s rights activists said the Warmawsaw incident highlights the rise in atrocities against women in the State. Crime against women in the State came into focus after V. Shanmuganathan had to resign as Governor following a complaint of alleged sexual impropriety in 2017. Around the same time, Independent MLA Julius Kitbok Dorphang, an ex-militant, was arrested for raping a 14-year-old. That year, the police recorded 238 cases of rapes, including two gang rapes. There were 137 other cases too, including assault on women with intent to outrage their modesty and cruelty by husbands or relatives. 2017 also saw 298 cases registered under POCSO.Police officers said the graph of crimes against women has been increasing. The number of rape cases increased from 82 in 2007 to 190 in 2016. Similarly, the number of cases of assault on women and insult to their modesty increased from 46 to 85 during this period.last_img

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