In a horrific incident, a minor Dalit girl was mercilessly beaten up by a village elder in public for eloping with a youth in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district.
The incident occurred in KP Hall village on Thursday but came to light after the video went viral late on Friday.
The 17-year-old girl was beaten up by 70-year-old Boya Lingappa during a village panchayat in which she and her 20-year-old cousin Sai Kiran were pulled up for eloping and bringing a bad name to their families and the village.
At the panchayat, the couple was made to sit down and humiliated in front of all villagers. Enraged over the girl's refusal to stop having any relation with the youth, Lingappa started thrashing her, first with bare hands and then with a stick. He even kicked her. He also thrashed Sai Kiran.
The girl's parents had approached Lingappa after she eloped with the boy 10 days ago. When the couple returned, Lingappa was called to hold the panchayat.
Anantapur District Superintendent of Police B. Satya Yesu Babu said they received no complaint from the parents of either the girl or the youth. However, based on the video evidence a suo moto case was registered against Lingappa under Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, the accused has not been arrested as the villagers reportedly threatened to protest outside the police station. Claiming that it is their family matter, the villagers told the police to keep off.
As the girl is minor, Sai Kiran may be booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.