When an Indian man named Ravi had an affair with Krishna, a married woman who belonged to a higher caste, a local council made up of unelected men in the village decided to punish him.
They sentenced Ravi’s two sisters to be raped and paraded naked through the village with blackened faces.
Seriously. That’s the punishment.
The two women, ages 15 and 23, are now on the run to escape the absurdly cruel punishment for “crimes” they had nothing to do with.
According to a petition at Amnesty International,
Sumit Kumar, another brother of [23-year-old Meenakshi Kumari] says that members of the Jat caste are powerful members of the village council, ‘the Jat decision is final’.
His family fears for their lives if they return.
Meenakshi has filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking for protection, and her father has lodged a complaint with two national bodies saying that both his family has been harassed not just by the family of the eloped woman (who are of the dominant caste and therefore influential), but also by the police.
They are also worried about the safety of the Jat woman, who is now thought to be pregnant with Meenakshi’s brother’s child.
In a nation where there were nearly 25,000 reported gang rapes (and countless unreported ones) in 2012 alone, it’s hard to write this off as a few people on the fringes. This is a national problem, and superstitious beliefs about castes coupled with irrational ideas of justice are at the core.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brendan for the link)