The semi-naked body of a teenage girl who was allegedly humiliated by village elders for protesting against her father’s harassment has been found near a railway track in eastern India.
Police suspect the 15-year-old girl in West Bengal was raped and murdered.
Her family said she was made to spit on the ground and lick it up – an act considered a grave form of humiliation.
So the official punishment by humiliation was the making her spit on the ground and then lick it up, and the unofficial punishment (for having spat on the ground and licked it up?) was the suspected rape and murder. Thorough, aren’t they.
The BBC’s Amitabha Bhattasali in Calcutta says the girl’s body was found near a railway track in the state’s Jalpaiguri district on Tuesday – a day after a village court had summoned her and her farmer father to settle a dispute over a tractor.
Her family members told the police that the elders “threatened the girl with dire consequences” when she protested against the “harassment of her father” by the village court.
Villagers said the girl “disappeared” when the court was in progress, and her body was found the next morning.
Could be a coincidence. Maybe it was a passing tiger that killed her and tore most of her clothes off.
Local villagers said political rivalry between the village elders and the girl’s family could have led to an escalation of the dispute – the elders are reported to be supporters of the ruling Trinamul Congress party, while the girl’s family reportedly supports the state’s main opposition Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Earlier this year, a woman in West Bengal’s Birbhum district was gang-raped, allegedly on orders of village elders who objected to her relationship with a man.
In 2010, village elders in Birbhum ordered at least three tribal women to strip and walk naked in front of large crowds, police said.
The women were being punished for “having close relations” with men from other communities.
Life is shit for women in India.