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Humanity touches a new low: Sisters punished to gang-rape by khap

New Delhi: In a shocking sentence, an unelected all male village council in the Baghpat district of North India ordered that Meenakshi (23 years) and her 15 year old younger sister will be raped and
India TV News Desk September 05, 2015 21:09 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: In a shocking sentence, an unelected all male village council in the Baghpat district of North India ordered that Meenakshi (23 years) and her 15 year old younger sister will be raped and paraded naked as a punishment for the crimes their brother committed.

The brother, Ravi, eloped with a married woman and the seniors of the village are seeing this as an eye for an eye justice.

Meenakshi has filed a petition demanding protection for her sister and herself in the Supreme Court of India. Ravi and his sisters are from the Dalit community and his wedding with a Jat woman made the elders furious.

An International Human Rights group, Amnesty International is running a petition for the girls' protection. Their website quoted, "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 human rights body also fears that the Jat sister-in-law of these sisters would be in danger too. Reportedly, she wanted to be with Ravi since a long time but was forcefully married off to another man last year in February.

Since the incident, Meenakshi's family has seen a lot of trouble including their home being looted. Her father has filed a compliant about being harassed by the Jat family to the police but little is being done by them.

Although, the Supreme Court has ruled these decrees by the Khap Panchayats illegal, they continue to function in villages across the country. The sisters are living in a constant fear of their lives and do not wish to return to their home.

Another brother of the sisters, Sumit Kumar told the humanitarian organisation, “In the panchayat [village council], the Jat decision is final. They don't listen to us. The police don't listen to us. The police said anyone can be murdered now.”

With light being shed on this incident, Bollywood actor Abhay Deol urged masses to join the cause to protect the sisters. He shared the link of the Amnesty International on his Facebook page and said that they are working to protect ‘one of our own'.