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Indian Sisters to Be Raped as 'Punishment' for Brother Eloping With Married Woman


Two sisters in India - one aged only 15-years - are to be raped as "punishment" for their brother running away with a married woman from a higher caste in the latest caste to shock the country. Meenakshi Kumari, who is 23, and her younger sister, will then be paraded naked with their faces blackened through the streets, according to a ruling from the all-male village council. The sisters have petitioned the country's Supreme Court to be protected from the so-called "eye-for-an-eye" ruling from the village council in Uttar Pradesh state, 30 miles from the capital Delhi.

The family are from the Dalit caste, historically known as "untouchables". However, the brother fell in love with a woman from the higher, Jat, caste. The woman was forced into an arranged marriage in February with a man from her own caste despite her relationship, according to Zee news, citing the elder sister Meenakshi. The couple eloped in March, but returned to the village after the man's family were allegedly tortured by police.

The village council then made its ruling that the Dalit family should be dishonoured to "avenge" the brother's supposed crime.  Meenakshi and her sister ran away to the capital after the ruling was handed out and were able to submit their petition for protection for their family at the Supreme Court. However, they are still facing the punishment when they return home. Khap panchayats are the archaic systems of village justice that exist in much of rural India. They are dominated by the Jat caste and are almost always run by male village elders.

The "courts" often order honour killings and sexual "punishments" and are frequently allowed to operate completely outside the Indian legal system, despite the Supreme Court labelling them "kangaroo courts". Jats are powerful sources of votes and few politicians have been prepared to challenge the system. Amnesty International has set up a petition against the punishment, stating: "Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law." Rachel Alcock, Amnesty UK's urgent action coordinator, said: "Rape is a revolting crime, not a punishment. It's no wonder this disgusting 'sentence' has provoked global outrage.

"These Khap courts routinely order vile sexually violent punishments against women. India's supreme court has rightly declared such orders illegal.

UK Telegraph.

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