NEW DELHI - Nearly a month after the incident and a week after it hit headlines and created a furore in parliament, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tuesday said it has issued notice to Madhya Pradesh on the virginity tests conducted on brides at a mass wedding there.
The commission, taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, issued a notice to the chief secretary of the state on July 17 and sought a factual report within four weeks.
Media reports allege that 151 girls who participated in a mass wedding conducted by the Madhya Pradesh government at Shahdol were forced to undergo virginity tests. This is a violation of human rights, an NHRC official said.
The incident took place June 30 but was reported in the media only on July 13. Just before the mass wedding ceremony was to begin, a bride went into labour pains, shocking those present.
The state government then ordered virginity and pregnancy tests and 14 of the brides were found to be pregnant.
As many as 138 couples from various religions tied the knot at the function held under the Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s pet scheme aimed at providing financial help to poor families for marriage of girls.