Target: Director of Police, Prabhu Rajasekhar Reddy
Goal: Convict the 13 men ordered to gang rape a woman who fell in love with a Muslim man
In West Bengal, India, a 20 year old adivasi woman was raped by 13 men for falling in love with a Muslim man. The crime happened in a rural part of West Bengal, under orders of the village’s unelected male village council who wanted to punish the woman. Human rights groups are pressing authorities to investigate the matter, and bring these men to justice. The authorities also need to ensure that the woman and her family will also receive protection from the village and the men who raped her. The woman has since been hospitalized and the men have been arrested, but no charges have been made.
The council of men, called khap panchayat, have been known to issue decrees that violate human rights and allow sexual violence against women. Some of this violence has turned into ‘honor killings,’ where the victim is killed by a family member or a member of their village because the victim has brought shame to the family. Their orders are illegal, but nonetheless they are executed. Lawmakers and activists are desperately urging the government to crack down on such treatment of women.
Crimes against women in India have taken the spotlight since December 2012, when a woman was gang raped and beaten. She later died at a hospital, sparking outrage all over the country. Since this incident, news outlets have been reporting on violence against women with a vengeance, and a movement is slowly taking shape to fight for women’s rights in India. Lawmakers are now fighting for ways to protect women, and interrogate those who have been raped so they may prosecute the perpetrator.
Dear Prabhu Rajasekhar Reddy,
I am writing this letter in regard to the 20 year old women who was raped in West Bengal, India. As I understand it, this woman fell in love with a Muslim man and her village felt that they had a right to punish her. Punish her they did, by having 13 men gang rape her. Quite frankly, I am appalled that so many men believe it is acceptable to treat another human being this way. The village shouldn’t have a right to interfere with whomever this woman chooses to be with. Instead of supporting her, this woman is no doubt scarred for life and has to receive medical treatment.
I ask that your police thoroughly investigate this matter and charge the men for their crimes. It is never acceptable to violate a person this way and I hope they are punished for harming this woman and her family.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Deeptrivia via Wikimedia