Twenty people were today booked under the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016 for allegedly boycotting a girl's family after she accused a youth of raping her, police said.
The youth was arrested yesterday, said officials, and was remanded in police custody for 14 days.
Police said that the case under the Act was registered after Sadu Bhau Bhurbude of Bhokarpada in Rajewadi locality here filed a complaint that 20 people had stopped the girl's family from interacting with others as well as participate in community functions.
Those booked include a police patil, the village sarpanch and members of the Jaat Panchayat Samiti (caste panchayat), said police.
On January 23 this year, a minor girl had alleged that a 19-year-old youth had raped her but the caste panchayat stopped her family from registering a case, said police.
The officials said that the caste panchayat told the victim's family that the youth would marry her when she attained marriageable age and would also give her some land.
It was only after the intervention of the Maharashtra Andha-shraddha Nirmulan Samiti (ANS), a group working to eradicate superstition, that a case of rape under IPC and POCSO was registered against the youth on March 8 and he was arrested, officials said.
Inspector RA Sonawane of the Trimbakehswar police said that it was the first time the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016 had been invoked in the district.
Krishna Chandgude of the Maharashtra Andha-shraddha Nirmulan Samiti (ANS) expressed satisfaction at the police's act in invoking the law preventing social boycotts.
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