A decision taken by a village council in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has caused uproar throughout the world and spurred human rights organizations like Amnesty International into action.
An all-male village council in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, has called for two sisters aged 23 and 15 to be "raped and paraded naked" in the village.
The inhumane ruling came after their brother, belonging to the Dalit or the "untouchable" caste in India, eloped with a higher-caste Jat woman.
The caste system in Uttar Pradesh, known as India's most populous and economically backward states, is extremely rigid – which means when the brother, identified as Ravi, eloped with a higher-caste woman, the backlash was inevitable.
Several members of his family were abducted and tortured by the U.P. police, which allegedly plays in the hands of the higher-caste Jats.
Later, an unelected tribunal where the higher-caste hold positions called for 23-year-old Meenakshi and her younger sister, 15, to be raped as retribution for their brother's crime.
The young girls and their family fled to the capital and filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against the ruling. The petition details the plight of the Dalit family, telling how their home was looted by the Jats after they left.
The petition also claims that their 22-year-old brother and the 21-year-old Jat woman had been in love for three years. They eloped shortly after the woman was forcibly married to someone else by her family.
However, the couple had to return after their move elicited the wrath of their communities.
Amnesty International has launched a petition calling for the council to revoke their verdict. The petition has surpassed its initial goal of 50,000, and the subsequent goal of 75,000 signatures. With 119,000 signatures, it is only 30,000 signatures short of its new goal of 150,000.