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Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Wife raped in India to force divorce
Indian women
Some Indian women are forced to prove their chastity

The authorities in India's western state of Rajasthan say a man has been arrested after he had his wife raped to get a divorce.


Jangir got his brother and nephew to rape his wife so that he could get a divorce

BR Gwala,
Police superintendent
The superintendent of police of Alwar district, BR Gwala, told the BBC that the incident took place in Govindgarh town.

He said the accused, Jangir Singh - was arrested recently following a complaint lodged by his wife.

There have been several incidents in the country where women have been forced to prove their chastity in different ways.

Crafty motive

"Jangir got his brother and nephew to rape his wife so that he could get a divorce," Mr Gwala said.

The police say Jangir, currently in jail, had been married for 10 years, and filmed his wife being raped.

Mr Gwala said he showed the film to his wife and asked her to file divorce papers.

Jangir threatened to publicly screen the tape if she did not comply with his demands.

According to the police, Jangir decided to take this step as he suspected his wife's fidelity and wanted a divorce.

The couple has two children, one of whom is deaf.

Grim statistics

The police said they have arrested Jangir's brother and nephew along with him but the cameraman who filmed the rape is absconding.


Since the abuse takes place behind closed doors, it is often denied by the victims themselves

K Geeta,
Women's rights group

Mr Gwala said it will not be easy for the victim to recuperate as there is no one in her family except her mother.

He said, "It is not only against the Indian laws but it is unethical to commit such an act without the consent of the person involved."

He said both the husband and wife belong to economically backward section of the society.

According to some estimates, every six hours somewhere in India a young married woman is burnt alive, beaten to death, or driven to commit suicide.

Tough laws needed

Many women's rights activists are campaigning for stringent laws to deal with domestic violence.

Many victims of domestic violence stay silent
Experts say a major source of concern in India is that society has failed to evolve sanctions against men who inflict physical and psychological pain on their wives.

They say many victims choose not to report these incidents for lack of support or for fear of backlash.

In Delhi, K Geeta, a member of a woman's rights group - Sakshi - said, "Since the abuse takes place behind closed doors, it is often denied by the victims themselves."

Two weeks ago, a woman in the western city of Indore was forced to hold a red hot iron rod to prove her chastity by the elders of her tribe.

See also:

19 Feb 01 | South Asia
24 Jul 02 | Country profiles
24 Jul 02 | South Asia
14 May 02 | South Asia
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