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Posted at: May 9, 2017, 1:36 AM; last updated: May 9, 2017, 1:36 AM (IST)

Notice to Centre, states on female circumcision

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8

The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre and the governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan on a PIL seeking a ban on age-old practice of female genital mutilation followed by Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar asked the Centre and the three states to spell out their stand on the controversial practice that many activists term as violation of fundamental rights of women.

Petitioner Sunita Tiwari – an advocate – demanded a law against female circumcision on the ground that it violated child rights of Bohra Muslim girls. Tiwari said it caused pain during menstruation and sexual intercourse, loss of libido and even pain during urination. “It can be categorised as violence against women,” she added.

Popularly known as “khatna”, female genital mutilation involves cutting off the clitoral head, which many Bohras believe makes women lead a life of infidelity. It’s generally done at a young age by midwives in unhygienic conditions.

The UN General Assembly had in 2012 adopted a unanimous resolution on elimination of this practice. The National Commission for Women also supported a ban on the practice.

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