Indian minister gifts brides wooden bats 'for beating drunkards'
An Indian minister has armed some 700 brides with wooden bats to be used in self-defence in the case of domestic violence.
The foot-long wooden bats were presented as gifts at a mass marriage ceremony on Saturday by Gopal Bhargava, a minister in the state.
He instructed the brides to use the bats - traditionally used for washing clothes - on their husbands if they turned abusive.
“Whenever I visit any rural or urban area in my constituency, women complain about their husband’s drinking habit. They inform me that whatever little they earn is snatched away by their husband for alcohol.
"They are also subjected to physical violence,” he said, the Indian Express reports.
“The idea of gifting 'mogri' struck me when a woman asked me whether she should get her husband to stop drinking by beating him with this wooden plank,” he added.
"You can use it below the belt," he said.
Local media reports that the bats are inscribed with the messages: 'Gift for beating drunkards, police will not intervene'