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Caste panchayat members booked for boycott of woman, kin

Seven members of a caste panchayat in Maharashtra’s Jalna district have been booked for allegedly ordering the social boycott of a woman and her family in connection with a marital dispute.

Sonali Pandirkant Shivkar, a resident of Rajur in Bhokardan tehsil here, had filed a case against her husband, Dnayeshwar Anna Raje, and his family for allegedly torturing her for money, Inspector Pratap Singh of Rajur police station said on Friday.

The Vaid community panchayat, to which the couple belong, however decided to socially ostracise the Shivkar family as their daughter had gone to court against her husband’s family instead of solving the dispute at the panchayat, he added.

“After a meeting in Pune, the caste panchayat ordered the boycott of Sonali Shivkar and her family. They were even turned away from a marriage they had gone to attend in Ahmednagar on January 25. Following this, Shivkar filed a complaint. We have booked seven members of the caste panchayat,” the official said.

He said a case has been registered under relevant sections of the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act and further probe was underway.

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