A 20-year-old woman was hospitalized after allegedly being gang-raped by up to 13 men on the orders of village elders in India's West Bengal state. The elders had objected to the woman's relationship with a man, and her family could not afford to pay a fine upon discovery of the affair, police officials said Thursday.
The woman was hospitalized Thursday in serious condition; some reports listed her in critical condition. Television footage showed the woman, her face covered by scarves, being led into a hospital with an IV tube in her arm.
"The morol (village headman) ordered that I be 'enjoyed' by the men of the village," the New Delhi–based NDTV quoted the woman as saying. "Following his orders, at least 10 to 12 people, including (some) members of a single family, continuously raped me. I lost count of how many times I was raped."
Some local news reports said the elders took issue with the woman's relationship with the man because he was from a different community. Other reports said the village council attacked her because she fell in love with a man from a different religion. Police did not reveal the religions of the couple.