A 20-year-old girl from West Bengal village of Subalpur, India was gang raped by 13 men after being spotted with her lover who belonged to a different community. The rape was ordered by the village head.

SUBALPUR — Sunil Soren, the village head, ordered the rape after two lovers were unable to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 ($807) for their illicit relationship. According to reports, the victim’s family were not given enough time to arrange the sum of money and were threatened not to go to the police.

According to the victim’s mother, the rape was carried out by the local villagers. “They tortured my daughter and dumped her home late at night,” she said.

All 13 men and the village head have been arrested. This is not the first time the village council has been involved in such act. Four years ago, a teenage girl from the same area was forced to walk naked through four villages for having an affair.

Tribal or caste-based village councils governed by elderly men are spread all across rural India, and still hold great power. Women’s group have stated that the arrest is exemplary of how things have changed for women since the 2012 fatal gang rape of a New Delhi student that sent shock waves throughout the country.

According to the most recent National Crime Records Bureau, a woman was raped in India every 21 minutes on average in 2012. West Bengal recorded the highest number of gender crimes totalling up to 12.7 per cent of the country’s total recorded crime against women.The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India recorded a 35 per cent of drop in foreign female tourist arrivals in the first three months of last year.

In the beginning of this month, a Danish woman was allegedly robbed and gang raped after she got lost on her way back to her hotel in New Delhi.


– Ritambhara Rai BhattaraiCorrespondent (South Asia)


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