Organizers were aiming for 50,000 signatures.
A council of men in India ruled the sisters – one of whom is only 15 – would be raped as punishment after their brother started a relationship with a married woman from a higher social caste.
The punishment was ordered in the impoverished farming village of Sankrot in Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, around 30 miles north of New Delhi. It is home to 200 people.
|Uttar Pradesh file photo|
On 30 July, an unelected all-male village council known as a 'panchayat' ordered that the teenager and her elder sister Meenakshi Kumari, who is 23, be raped and paraded naked (with blackened faces) as punishment for the actions of their brother, according to Amnesty International.
The family home was ransacked shortly after they fled the village for safety in May.
Another one of the girls' brothers said members of the 'Jat' caste are powerful members of the village council and their decision is 'final'.
They are also worried about the safety of the Jat woman, who is now thought to be pregnant with the brother’s child.
According to Zee News, the pair's brother Ravi fell in love with a girl from the higher Jat caste and the couple eloped in March, even after they were forcibly separated and she was married off to another man in February.
The sisters fled the village in May fearing retribution, causing the family's home to be ransacked.
The Kumaris are Dalits, or untouchables, at the very bottom of India's ancient caste system, transgressions of which are still taken extremely seriously in many parts of society.
The couple reportedly surrendered after their family were allegedly tortured by police and members of the Jat community to avenge the brother's actions.
Meenakshi has filed a petition with the supreme court asking for protection and her father has lodged a complaint with two national bodies saying that his family has been harassed not just by the family of the woman who has eloped but also by the police.
|The Supreme Court building in New Delhi. Meenakshi Kumari has filed a |
petition with the court asking for protection from the ruling of the village council