- Young girl was beaten up in Andhra Pradesh's Anantpur district
- The girl, said to be a minor, had reportedly eloped with a cousin
- The couple was brought back, warned against having a relationship
A horrific video has gone viral of a young girl being beaten up by a village elder in the presence of several others in Andhra Pradesh's Anantpur district.
The girl, said to be a minor, had reportedly eloped with a cousin who is 20 years old. The couple was brought back and presented before the village elders and warned against having a relationship.
The incident took place on Wednesday in KP Doddi village.
In the video, the 20-year-old is seated on the ground, with downcast eyes, and the so called village elder is questioning the frail girl before him. An answer she gives upsets him and he starts assaulting her, multiple times, repeatedly, first with his bare hands and subsequently with a stick.
Anantpur district police chief B Yesubabu told NDTV no one was coming forward to lodge a complaint against the village elder, not even the parents. "They say the elder intervened on their behalf and so they are not willing to complain."
The police has now sent a woman constable to check if the girl will file a complaint. If she mentions that she had a physical relationship with the boy, he could be booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences or POCSO.
If no formal complaint is lodged, the police will file a case under Prevention of SC/ST atrocities Act, police said.
Child rights activist Achyutha Rao of Balala Hakkula Sangham says he is alerting the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and has demanded that a case of attempt to murder and cruelty against children of JJ Act should be booked.
"It is a cognisable offence. In such cases, no one can take the law into their hands. They must counsel the youngsters, not behave like moral police. What is shocking is so many villagers were a mute witness when a child was badly beaten up," Mr Rao said.