10/13/2004, 00.00
INDIA
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More women take the law into their own hands and kill the men who raped them

by Nirmala Carvalho

Nagpur (AsiaNews) – Women in Kharbi village, in Nagpur (western Maharashtra), lynched Fahim Pathaan (26) and his younger brother Naem (22). The two had been terrorising the villagers for nearly 4 years. The two extorted money from local residents and small businessmen. They were also were into kidnappings and sexual abuse, especially of young women and girls.

On October 6th, the women of the village summed up their courage and lodged a complaint with the Police. The men reacted angrily and tried to teach the women a lesson but this time they paid for their arrogance with their lives.

The two arrived in the village demanding that the complaint be withdrawn then allegedly began harassing a 28-year-old widow, Lashmibai Taram, who lives with her three children and one brother. She said that after asking her for money the two men tore off her blouse and tried to remove her saree, this in sight of the neighbours.

Armed with sticks and stones, the other women of the village attacked the would-be rapists. Fahim died on the spot whilst Naem died later of his injuries. The president of a local women's organisation said that several women tried talking to the men to no avail. "Their arrogance was such that they felt above the law," she said.

Two months ago, a group of women stoned to death another rapist in the same district of Nagpur. Women's organisations defended the women's action arguing that delays and legal loopholes are allowing many human rights violators to get away scot-free.

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