Director General of Police (DGP) C Sylendra Babu has said that the two-finger test was not conducted on minor daughters of Podhu Dikshitars in Chidambaram as part of a probe into child marriages.
He said that 11 people were arrested including three women and two of the four minor girls were sent for medical examination but the two-finger test was not conducted on them. The arrests were done after cases were filed under Section 366 A of the IPC and Sections 9 and 10 of the Prevention of Child Marriage Act.
The statement comes after Governor RN Ravi in an interview with the Times of India had said, "Out of vengeance, government officers of social welfare department lodged eight complaints of child marriage against the podhu dikshithars, that they were marrying their children underage, whereas there were no such marriages.
"Parents were arrested and put behind prisons. And the girls, sixth, seventh standard students, were forcibly taken from home to the hospitals and made to undergo ‘two-finger tests’, virginity tests. Some of them tried to commit suicide.
"I wrote a letter to the chief minister, asking what is this? Now, against the backdrop of all that is happening, you want me to praise the government. Isn’t that too much?"
He had said this while answering a question on why did he skip the part on ‘excellent management of temples’ while addressing the State Assembly earlier this year.
Taking suo moto cognisance of the matter, Priyank Kanoongo, who leads the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), had instructed the Chief Secretary to conduct an inquiry while ensuring the protection of the victims' identities.
The Chief Secretary has been asked to provide a report on the action taken, along with relevant documents, including a copy of the FIR filed by the Social Welfare Department regarding complaints of child marriages, details on the action taken against the accused, the current status of the parents' arrests and any legal action being pursued, and information on producing the minor children before the medical officer.
In this test, two fingers are inserted into the vagina by a medical professional to ‘test the laxity of the vagina’ and determine if the hymen is ruptured.
The Supreme Court in 2013 called the test an invasion of privacy and the Health Ministry's guidelines say that the test should not be conducted.
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