Denying reports that no two-finger test was performed on two minor daughters of Chidambaram Podhu Dikshitars, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said that the private parts of the girls were touched forcibly in the guise of medical examination.
In October 2022, three Podhu Dikshitars of the Chidambaram temple in the Cuddalore district were arrested by the police following complaints of child marriage. Subsequently, their minor wives underwent medical tests.
Following it, Governor RN Ravi, in an interview with a news outlet, said that the Dikshitars were arrested on a false complaint of child marriage and that their minor daughters were made to undergo the “two-finger test” for virginity.
Taking cognizance of the interview, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) initiated suo motu proceedings and its member Dr RG Anand conducted an inquiry regarding this.
Over the past two days, Anand conducted an inquiry with Dikshitars, doctors, police officials, and the victims at Chidambaram.
What NCPCR says
Speaking to South First, Anand said that reports of the incident are misleading and misconstrued.
“For the third time, we conducted an inquiry with the doctors who examined the minor girls. When we spoke to the minor girls, they deposed that they were forcibly taken to the hospital and the doctor touched their private parts without their consent,” he said.
When questioned about the scrutiny of medical records, Anand said, “As per the records, no two-finger test was done. But the doctors touched the private parts of the minor girls without their consent. In fact, a girl fell unconscious after the medical examination.”
Giving credence to Ravi’s statements, the NCPCR member said that as of now, whatever the Governor had said appeared to be true.
Stating that no child marriage took place and the Dikshitars had falsely admitted to it during the inquiry due to coercion, Anand also said that the inquiry was still going on and would be completed in 10 days.
Following it, a report would be submitted to the commission’s chairperson, he added.
Doctors stick to their statement
A doctor, who did not want to be named, confirmed to South First that the commission had conducted inquiries with the concerned medical examiner.
“External genital area and perineum are observed for evidence of injury, seminal stains, stray pubic hair, and foreign material. Without touching the outer walls of private parts, it cannot be examined,” the doctor said.
Denying that the two-finger test was conducted, the doctor said that the medical examination was done in the presence of a woman police officer and the procedure was medically documented.
Cops reiterate their stand
DGP C Sylendra Babu on 5 May, after the Governor’s interview, issued a statement denying the allegations of the two-finger test.
In the statement, Babu said, “The allegation in the media that the Social Welfare Department preferred a complaint against the Dikshitars out of vengeance and that two girls studying in class VI and VII were forcibly subjected to a two-finger test and one of them attempted suicide is contrary to the truth.”
Speaking to South First, a senior police officer from the headquarters reiterated that there was evidence that child marriage happened, but the two-finger test — which was barred by the Supreme Court — was not done.
Asked about the findings of the commission, the officer said the chief secretary had already sent a detailed report on the incident to the commission in this regard.