An unelected all-male village council in India has ordered that two Sisters be sentenced to rape as punishement after their brother eloped with a married woman.
The group, according to a report, also ordered that 23-year-old Meenakshi Kumari and her 15-year-old sister are paraded naked with blackened faces.
The outrageous punishment was made known by Amnesty International, which said the sisters and their family have fled their village in the Baghpat district, just outside of Delhi.
Information gathered further shows that the sisters’ brother, Ravi fell in love with a girl from the Jat caste, a higher social caste than Ravi and his family, who are Dalit, once known as the ‘untouchables’, who are at the bottom of India’s caste system.
The Jat woman’s family married her off to someone else in February but she later escaped and eloped with Ravi in March.
As punishment, on July 31 a village council decided Ravi’s sisters should be raped to avenge his actions. Since the family fled their village their home has been ransacked.
Amnesty International has launched a petition calling on India’s authorities intervene immediately and protect the two sisters.
In an appeal, Amnesty said: “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.
“Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law.”