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Rape victim in India told to undergo ‘purity test’ before rejoining husband

Rape victim speaks from behind a veil to India Today (Courtesy of Women in the World, New York Times)

An Indian woman who survived a rape attack in the state of Gujarat is to undergo a purity test to establish whether she can join her husband, the New York Times reported.

In a strange ritual known as “agnipariksha” or “test of fire”, the woman will apparently be required to balance a 40kg rock on her head to prove her purity - the report added.

The ritual is said to date back to the Hindu poem The Ramayana in which Queen Sita was said to have been abducted from her husband – she was later rescued.

The rape victim said in an interview with India Today - from behind a veil protecting her identity - that she was afraid that her attacker would track her down and kill her once he was released from jail.

The woman finds herself in the predicament at the same time as a 14-year-old girl who was the victim of a gang rape In India.
In the case of the latter the girl’s father appealed to India’s high court for her to be able to terminate the pregnancy – but was refused. India’s apex court later overturned the decision.

Coverage of sexual against women in India has increased in recent years with horrific stories of women left for dead on the road after gangs of young men attacked them – often using weapons to carry out their attack.

In a recent case where police were hoping to capture a teenage rape victim’s attacker, she was raped a second time as she was used for bait – British daily The Independent reported.

In that case the girl – a 17-year-old – was apparently raped at knifepoint by two men early in July.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently came under fire when his government cut back the number of centers being provided for victims of abuse.

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Last Update: Friday, 7 August 2015 KSA 14:52 - GMT 11:52
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Rape victim in India told to undergo ‘purity test’ before rejoining husband
An Indian woman who survived a rape attack in the state of Gujarat is to undergo a purity test
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