Neighbours tied a 19-year-old Indian lesbian woman to a tree and beat her after they found her in bed with her female partner.
The teenager had dated her girlfriend for the last six months. Both lived in the village of Chandol, Odisha in eastern India.
A number of the couple’s neighbors had criticised the two women’s relationship as “immoral”, The Times of India reported.
When locals discovered the 19-year-old and her girlfriend sharing a bed last Friday, they attacked her.
“I was dragged out of my house by my neighbours. They beat me up and tied me to a tree,” the 19-year-old told the Times of India.
“They abused and kicked me when my parents tried to rescue me.”
One resident, Ganesh Pariba, told the Indian newspaper, “We beat her up and tied [her] to a tree in our village as she is a lesbian.
“She is immoral and has besmirched the name of our village.”
Witnesses said they were “appalled” by the brutal attack and concerned onlookers called the police.
The police released the teenager and opened an investigation. Those found guilty could face up to seven years in prison.
Discrimination remains after decriminalisation in India
India’s Supreme Court descriminalised gay sex last September.
But violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ people remains, especially in rural areas.
Many LGBTIQ Indians remain closeted for fear of family rejection and are forced into opposite-sex marriages.
Last week, Indian sprinter Dutee Chand revealed she is in a same-sex relationship, making her the first openly gay sportsperson in India.
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