Cops: Village Council in India Ordered Gang Rape

13 arrested in attack of woman who had relationship with man outside village
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2014 4:31 PM CST

(Newser) – Yet another gang rape is making headlines in India, but this one has an especially horrific twist: Police say village elders ordered the assault on a 20-year-old woman who made the mistake of falling for a guy from a different tribal group. The AP reports that 13 men have been arrested in West Bengal state after the attack on Monday night. The woman remains hospitalized. The incident began when the woman's boyfriend, who lives in a nearby village, showed up at her house to propose. Other villagers then detained him and formed what police call a "kangaroo court."

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Both he and the woman were tied up and ordered to pay a hefty fine. He did so and was released, but the woman couldn't afford it, reports the BBC. Her family quotes a village elder as saying to men watching the proceedings, "Her family could not pay, so go enjoy the girl and have fun." That village elder, reportedly a distant relative of the woman, was among those arrested. A reporter for the Times of India visits Chowatta, where the attack took place, and finds that residents appear to be unanimous in two seemingly conflicting sentiments: first, the girl deserved to be punished because she "brought disrespect to our community," as one woman puts it; second, they insist that the accused men are innocent. (Read more gang rape stories.)

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