A 14-year-old girl in India was tonsured and paraded through the streets as punishment for eloping with her lover. The police have arrested at least 22 people including family members of the victim, after a disturbing video of the incident went viral on social media.

The incident occurred in a village in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Nov.10 and caught the attention of officials after the video went viral over the weekend.

The video showed the victim with her hands tied, crying while a group of men tonsured her and blackened her face with soot in a ritual to "purify" her. In another video of the same incident, the girl still with her hands tied along with her lover, could be seen being paraded through the locality where she lived. Soon after the "ritual purification" the girl was forcefully married off to another man, officials said, as reported by News 18.

According to the sources, the minor girl reportedly eloped with her lover, a month ago and the assault happened a week after she returned to her village.

“The woman was tonsured, her face blackened and she was paraded in the locality where she lived. According to what I could gather, the woman who is engaged to some other person from the community had eloped with her lover. The tonsuring and blackening of her face was some sort of purification ritual of the community," Supreet Singh Gulati, the district official said, The Times of India reported.

"We have lodged an FIR against 35 villagers in connection and so far, 22 have been arrested," Akshyaraj Makhwana, a senior investigating officer said. The police have also booked the girl's lover on charges of kidnapping, rape, and sexual assault of a minor.

In September, a group of young girls was made to walk naked and beg at residents' houses in a drought-hit village in India as part of a ritual to please rain gods. A video of the incident, that had occurred in a tribal village in Damoh, a district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, went viral on social media. The police said they were aware of the incident but did not arrest anyone as the rituals were performed with consent from the parents of the young girls.

Representation. Police. Pixabay