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India: woman sentenced to rape by village elders

India: woman sentenced to rape by village elders
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In India, police have arrested 13 men in connection with the gang rape of a woman, allegedly ordered by village elders in West Bengal.

Doctors said the 20-year-old is in a serious condition in hospital.

The suspects, including the village chief who it is claimed handed down the rape sentence, have been remanded in custody.

Police said a kangaroo court was held in the village of Subalpur because the woman was discovered to have been having a relationship with a man from outside the village.

Elders allegedly ordered the public gang rape, as her family were too poor to pay a fine.

Women groups and opposition parties in India have called for action.

“No one has the right to order a woman’s rape. This is unlawful and those responsible for the crime should be punished. The victim should be given justice,’‘ said Nirmala Sawant Prabhavalkar, a member of the National Commission for Women.

Kirti Azad, the leader of Indian’s main opposition party Bharatiya Janata, also condemned the alleged rape.

“Shameful acts are happening in our country. Unless the authorities take serious action and pass laws which create a sense of fear in people, such sad incidents will continue to happen,” said Azad.

India is already reeling from a series of high profile cases of rape and extreme violence towards women.

The latest incident follows protests in the country earlier this month, after a women who claimed she was gang raped was later burnt to death.