Tamil Nadu police and health department officials have denied allegations about some girls being made to undergo two-finger test in child marriage cases filed in Chidambaram.
CUDDALORE: Tamil Nadu police and health department officials have denied allegations about some girls being made to undergo the two-finger test in child marriage cases filed in Chidambaram.
A press release issued by the Director General of Police, C Sylendra Babu, on Friday, said that messages were being spread on social media claiming that social welfare department officials gave child marriage complaints against some Dikshithars of Chidambaram Nataraja Temple, and a few girls studying in Class 6 and 7 were forced to undergo two-finger tests. All these allegations are false and baseless, the DGP said.
The statement further said investigations were carried out following complaints of child marriage and four different cases were filed at Chidambaram Town Police Station and Chidambaram All Women Police Station under Sections 366(A) of IPC, and 9 and 10 of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act. Eleven people, including three women, were arrested. The affected girls were sent for medical examination after obtaining the opinion of their legal adviser and tests were performed but two-finger test was not conducted.
Allegations about the girls attempting suicide were all rumours, and of the four victims, only two were sent for medical examination, the statement said. Meanwhile, taking suo motu cognisance of reports about the alleged test, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, in a letter dated May 4, has asked chief secretary V Irai Anbu to file an action taken report within seven days. A copy of the letter was also marked to the DGP.
‘Plaint filed on information received, claims of vendetta against Dikshithars untrue’
Speaking to TNIE, a senior health department official said, “We conducted an inquiry in Cuddalore GH and Chidambaram GH after media reports. Two-finger test was not done.” A few days back, Governor R N Ravi, in an interview, had alleged that cases were filed against Dikshithars out of vengeance, and two-finger tests were conducted on girls who were forcibly taken to the hospital from home.
Meanwhile, Podhu Dikshithars’ lawyer, G Chandrasekhar, claimed that the girls who underwent the tests were yet to recover mentally and insisted that the evidence will prove that the tests were indeed conducted. The lawyer refused to reveal details about the victims but said he is ready to submit the evidence to court.
A senior official from the Cuddalore district social welfare department has clarified that they filed a police complaint based on information they received regarding child marriages, and allegations of personal vendetta against Dikshithars was false.
The state issued a circular on November 8, 2022, instructing doctors not to conduct a two-finger test on victims and survivors of sexual violence. The circular stated that the union health ministry has removed insensitive practices like two-finger tests and over-emphasis on the hymen and the same may not be shared with the police department.