Amnesty International has revealed a sickening ordeal in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, where two sisters have been sentenced to be raped as a punishment for their brother’s ‘crime’. The sisters are being punished because their brother fell in love with a Jat girl from a higher cast and then eloped with her this year in March. The girls, one of whom is just 15, have since fled their village, while their home has been ransacked. The verdict was given out by an unelected all-male council – a Khap – which wanted to punish the sisters so as to take revenge for their brother’s crime.
According to the order, not only were 23-year-old Meenakshi Kumari and her 15-year-old sister to be raped, but they were also to be paraded naked around the village with their faces blackened.
The order for the punishment was given out on July 31. Meenakshi has now filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking for protection as she fears for her and her sister’s life.
Sumit Kumar, their other brother, spoke to Amnesty International and said that since they belonged to a Dalit community they could not do much about the situation. He said that Jats were powerful members of the village council and any decision taken by them is “final”. But not leaving anything to chance, the trio’s father has lodged a complaint with two national bodies asking for their help and pleading that he and his family is being harassed by the family of the Jat woman, who his son eloped with, and by the local police.
He also believes that since the the woman is carrying his son’s child, she herself might not be safe.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has appealed to the UP government seeking protection for the affected family besides starting a petition calling on India’s authorities to immediately intervene in the matter.