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Two sisters sentenced to rape for their brother’s actions

Two Indian sisters have been sentenced to be raped as punishment after their brother ran off with a married woman.

Meenakshi Kumari, 23 and her 15-year-old sister are currently on the run after an unelected all-male council known as Khap Phanchayat in their village in the Baghpat district, just outside of Delhi ordered for them to be raped to atone for their brother’s mistake.

According to an Indian news site Zee Media, the sisters’ brother Ravi fell in love with a girl from the Jat caste, a higher social caste than Ravi and his family, who are Dalit, once known as the ‘untouchables’, who are at the bottom of India’s caste system.

The Jat woman’s family married her off to someone else in February but she later escaped and eloped with Ravi in March.

DISHONOURED

Though the boy and the girl had surrendered after Ravi’s family was allegedly tortured by police and members of the Jat community, the Khap panchayat decided that the boy’s family should be dishonoured to avenge the brother’s deed.

As punishment, on July 31 a village council decided Ravi’s sisters should be raped to avenge his actions.

The family has since fled their rural home and are living in Delhi as Amnesty International launches a petition calling on the Indian authorities to intervene and protect the sisters.

The case is the latest incident of rape being used as a punishment by unelected village leaders or councils in rural India.