Two tribal girls backtrack from their virginity tests claim in MP

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Shahdol (Madhya Pradesh), July 19(ANI): Two tribal girls, who had alleged that a virginity test was conducted on them ahead of a mass marriage function on June 30, have now claimed that they were forced to lodge complaint against three government officers.

According to some reports, the two girls, Saroj Baiga and Arti Baiga had submitted separate affidavits to the district administration on July 17, claiming that they were compelled to make thumb impression, as a mark of signature, on the complaints submitted to the police.

Earlier, the girls had accused three government officials, including then District Collector Ajit Kumar, of forcibly conducting virginity tests on them before a mass wedding function sponsored by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's scheme 'Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna', aimed to help girls from poor families to marry at government expense.

Marriages under the scheme are solemnised free of cost and all arrangements are made by the district administration. Every couple is also provided assistance in the form of household items to the tune of Rs 5,000.

Following the incident Chouhan had said that the test carried out on 151 girls was not virginity test, but a procedural medical examination.

Neeraj Dubey, Shahdol district collector, had supported the Chief Minister's claim by saying: "It is absolutely wrong to say that virginity tests were conducted on the women who were married under the scheme."

Dubey had, however, admitted that some clinical tests were conducted on the beneficiaries of the scheme to find out whether the brides were pregnant or not.

According to some reports, just ahead of being garlanded, the bride to be had developed labour pains, making the organisers to immediately stop the mass wedding and order a pregnancy test on all the brides assembled for the ceremony. (ANI)

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