Earlier this year Dr. Nagarwala was accused of practising FGM in an US hospital, claiming that she only fulfilled her religious duties introduced by the Bohra community in India.
Now Indian Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi urges the community to give FGM up voluntarily.
The Union minister said that if the community did not stop the practice on its own, they would introduce a FGM law to stop it.
At the moment there is no explicit law against FGM, but it's still a crime under the Indial Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses.
“We will write to respective state governments and Syedna, the Bohra high priest, shortly to issue an edict to community members to give up FGM voluntarily as it is a crime under Indian Penal Code [IPC] and Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses [POCSO] Act, 2012. If the Syedna does not respond then we will bring in a law to ban the practice in India,” says Gandhi, who has already met up with the community to discuss the matter.
The Dawoodi Bohra community is the only one in India known to practise FGM. Some of their members still practise FGM all over the world, including Dr. Nagarwala.
Maneka Ghandi's approach is the first step in the right direction.
We are supporting her demand and asking the Bohra community to stop FGM! Female Genital mutilation is NOT a religious duty!