A 15-year-old girl in India was repeatedly abused by fellow students who suspected she was a lesbian.
According to The News Minute, Reshma (not her real name) went to a covenant school in Karnataka, thousands of miles from her home in Manipur.
She stayed at a hostel with other young female students, who spread rumors Reshma was a lesbian and began physically assaulting her. The attacks, she claims, that were “fully supported” by the hostel warden, a nun who wanted to punish the 15-year-old for “treading a wrong path which was against God’s will.”
In one attack, the warden joined the girls in pinning Reshma down and pouring chili powder in her mouth, refusing to let her drink water. “What if it was another girl and she was actually lesbian?” she said. “They would have probably killed her.”
Eventually Reshma’s brother, Renjit (not his real name), came from Manipur to investigate.
“The warden told me that my sister had tried to sexually assault another girl, which is why the other students had thrashed her,” he told News Minute. “She kept telling me how my sister’s mistake was a ’spiritual’ one. The warden told me that if my sister apologizes, then everything would settle down. But my sister said that she did not want to say sorry because she was the one who had suffered.”
The siblings eventually filed a complaint with India’s Child Rights Commission.
“She is hurt both physically and mentally,” Renjit said. “She is only a little girl. What did she do to deserve such treatment?”
Authorities are now investigating and believe the warden at Reshma’s hostel might have “intimidated other students.”
Homosexuality is still illegal under Section 377 of India’s penal code though, on Monday, India’s Supreme Court agreed to reconsider the law.