Neighbors of a 19-year-old woman in east India tied her to a tree and beat her after they discovered she was in a relationship with a woman, according to local media.
The Times of India reports Sarmila Malla was found in bed with another woman from her village near the city of Odisha on Thursday night (23 May)
The pair had reportedly been in a relationship for six months.
‘I was dragged out of my house by my neighbors’ Sarmila told The Times of India.
‘They beat me up and tied me to a tree. They abused and kicked me when my parents tried to rescue me.’
‘We are madly in love with each other’ she added of her relationship.
‘We beat up and tied Sarmila to a tree in our village as she is a lesbian’ Ganesh Parida, a resident of the village told The Times of India.
‘She is immoral and has besmirched the name of our village,’ he said.
Eventually, some neighbors informed the police who rescued the girl from the crowd.
Police have opened a case against some of the perpetrators.
Violence against LGBTI Indians
Indian Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex in September 2018.
Five Supreme Court judges ruled Section 377 of the Penal Code was unconstitutional. It had punished gay sex with up 10 years in prison.
Judges also said it violated the right to privacy.
But not everyone in India welcomed the ruling. Campaigners said decriminalization in the courts was just the beginning of LGBTI equality.
It will take a long time for society’s attitudes to change, they say.
But, there have been at least three court cases in which judges have ruled in favor of same-sex couples and demanded they be protected.
Earlier this month, Professional sprinter Dutee Chand became India’s first out professional athlete when she revealed she was bisexual and in a relationship with a woman.
‘I have found someone who is my soul mate,’ Dutee told The Sunday Express.
She told press that her family disapproved of her relationship.