In another outrage that is certain to send shockwaves through India, a woman has been gang-raped by 12 men on the orders of a group of village elders in remote West Bengal.
The council of elders reportedly ordered the “penalty” for the 20-year-old woman as punishment after she was discovered having an affair with a man from a different community.
Police have arrested 12 people over the attack which was meted out after the woman’s parents said they could not pay the fine of 25,000 rupees (£250) imposed by the council.
The incident in India took place in Subalpur village, about 240 kilometers west of state capital Kolkata, after the couple were discovered on Monday.
“The head of the village council held an urgent meeting in the village square on Tuesday when the girl and her lover were called,” a police official told the AFP news agency.
“The girl and her lover were tied to two separate trees and fined 25,000 rupees each as a fine for having an affair.
“As the parents of the girl, who were also present at the meeting, expressed their inability to pay the fine, the head of the village council ordered that she should be raped by the villagers as punishment”, the official added.
The man apparently involved with the girl was freed after he agreed to pay the fine within a week. The woman was recovering from the attack in a hospital.
The attack puts India’s record on sexual violence back into the spotlight after national outrage over the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi in December 2012.
The incident also echoes an attack on a woman in neighboring Pakistan in 2002 on orders of a village council to avenge her 12-year-old brother’s alleged impropriety with a woman from a rival clan.
Earlier this month, a Danish woman was allegedly gang-raped and robbed in the capital after she became lost on her way back to her hotel.