Two sisters in Uttar Pradesh in northern India have been threatened with ‘punishment rape’ by members of their own village council.
Twenty-three-year-old Meenakshi Kumari and her 15-year-old sister along with the rest of their family have been forced to flee their home.
It is all because their brother eloped with a married woman from a higher caste.
Meenakshi said:“They threatened us by telling our parents they will demand honour for honour. ‘What has been meted out to our woman (from the ‘Jat’ community), will be done to yours (low-caste ‘Dalit’ community). Since you have two girls in your home, we will rape both of your girls too.’ “
Outrage has led to over 175,000 people signing an Amnesty International petition calling on the Indian government to ensure their safety.
However most of those were on the human rights group’s British website. Only 17 people so far have signed Amnesty’s India site according to a spokesperson.
Diktats issued by such kangaroo courts are not uncommon in rural regions and caste -discrimination remains widespread, despite being illegal.
The sisters and their family have sought shelter with an elder brother who is a police constable in Delhi.
Police in the area have dismissed the case, saying there was no evidence of such an order for rape having been passed.