A man in eastern India was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl this week in “retaliation” for the girl’s brother having allegedly sexually assaulted a woman.
Three people were arrested in connection with the event: the alleged rapist, the brother of the girl (charged with molestation), and a member of the village council accused of ordering the crime. After the alleged attack, the girl was taken to the hospital and gave a statement to the police.
The AP reports that village councils, mostly in rural India, are empowered to resolve disputes and issue decrees on a broad range of topics, often using their power to enforce gender norms.
This is not the first rape case in India that has received international attention this year. In May, two girls who were allegedly gang-raped were found hanging in a tree in Northern India, and earlier this year a woman was gang-raped in West Bengal, apparently based on orders from village elders who did not approve of the woman’s relationship with a man.
After the 2012 gang rape and murder of a girl in Delhi, pressure has been increasingly put on the country’s government to take rape more seriously. The Indian government strengthened anti-sexual violence laws in the wake of widespread protest, but more work must be done to ensure safety.
Media Resources: AP 7/11/14; BBC 7/11/2014; Feminist Newswire 1/3/2014