08/19/2004, 00.00
INDIA
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Rape victims lynch rapist

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – A group of angry women lynched a man accused of rape as he was being escorted into a courthouse in the city of Nagpur in the central Indian State of Maharashtra.

Many of the stone-throwing attackers were women from Kasturba Nagar, where Akku Yadav, the deranged criminal, had carried out his attacks for 10 years.

After the lynching some of the women told the media the execution was planned: "We could not tolerate the humiliation he subjected us for the past decade."

Five of the women attackers were arrested for killing the man and were scheduled to appear before a magistrate today.  However, a crowd of 400 women blocked the courtroom demanding their release.

The incident evoked strong reactions across India because for once poor and illiterate women took the law in their own hands and meted out their own swift justice on a serial rapist.

Many women's rights advocates, including Poornima Advani, chairperson of the National Commission for Women, have come out in defence of the women.

According to some whilst it was wrong for the women to take the law into their own hands, the courts should also look into the spirit of their action and the circumstances which forced these women to kill. Other opinions have come out against the women.

Still, the women's action is proof of how much women in India are defenceless, powerless, and in need of protection. (NC)

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