If the allegations below are true, then this incident is a new low in the election season which has already seen intolerance at the deepest levels (from all sides).
A Muslim woman in eastern India has alleged she was
gang-raped by more than a dozen men because of her work helping the
Hindu nationalist opposition in ongoing elections, police said Tuesday. The
woman from Jharkhand state has filed a complaint with police that a mob
attacked her in her home on Monday and also assaulted her 13-year-old
daughter. Her husband was allegedly handcuffed during the attack.
victim, in her 30s, was part of a so-called “minority” wing of the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) designed to attract Muslim voters to the
party, which is expected to sweep the ongoing polls. Few Muslims
are expected to vote for the BJP, which is being led by hardliner
Narendra Modi who remains tarnished by religious riots in his home state
of Gujarat in 2002.
Women’s issues are
high on the agenda in the parliamentary elections following the fatal
gang-rape of a student on a New Delhi bus in December 2012, which
touched off a national debate about sexual violence. But fewer
than a fifth of the candidates standing for the BJP or the ruling
Congress party are women, according to an analysis by AFP. In the current parliament women hold only 11 per cent of seats in both houses.
victim in Monday’s assault also alleged the attackers fled with 30,000
rupees (500 dollars) in cash and jewellery worth over 200,000 rupees. Police inspector T. N. Singh in the police station closest to the victim’s home confirmed the gang-rape complaint to AFP. He said villagers had used the loudspeaker of the mosque to alert others to the assault, after which the attackers fled.