By Chris Sosa
A disturbing report emerged from Amnesty International stating that an unelected, all-male council sentenced two girls to be gang-raped. Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her 15-year-old sister were “sentenced” to rape after their brother eloped with a married woman. The “sentence” also requires the sisters to be paraded naked with blackened faces in front of the village.
As of this writing, more than 80,000 Care2 members have signed a petition demanding protection for the girls by the Principal Secretary of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Care2 is also calling for an investigation into the village council.
Both girls had fled the region already for fear of repercussions from their brother’s actions. Their family believes the girls may be murdered if they return to their village in the Baghpat district.
Amnesty International UK describes a terrifying landscape of unauthorized “councils” ruling segments of India:
Unelected village councils such as this are widespread in parts of India. More often than not they are made up of older men from dominant castes, who prescribe rules for social behaviour and interaction in villages.
The supreme court of India has described them as “kangaroo courts” and branded their decrees illegal, yet in some states they continue to operate – and their punishments are carried out.
Advocacy organizations are outraged by the continued existence of these sham courts that violate basic human rights through practices like “revenge rape.”
Last year, a 14-year-old was “sentenced” to rape by after her brother was accused of sexually assaulting a married women. The girl was raped in the woods by the woman’s husband. Village elders also ordered the rape of a 23-year-old woman last year, leaving her in critical condition after being attacked by 13 men.
A petition has been filed with India’s Supreme Court by Meenakshi Kumari to protect her and the unnamed younger sister.
Please take a moment to sign our petition standing with Meenakshi against rape and urging the Indian government to dismantle these barbaric, illegal councils seeking to oppress and exploit women within parts of the country.
If you feel strongly about an issue in your community or the world, start a Care2 petition today to get help from members around the globe.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.