Never mind whether the punishment fit the crime. In this case, the punishment was infinitely more hideous than the crime. The Guardian (UK) has the gruesome details:
A 20-year-old woman has been raped in public by as many as 12 men on the orders of tribal elders in a village in eastern India, according to local police.
The attack, in Birbhum district about 120 miles from Kolkata, was a punishment for an “unauthorised” relationship with a man from another village and the woman’s subsequent failure to pay a 50,000 rupee (£490) fine, local media reports said.
Police superintendent C Sudhakar told The Hindustan Times:
According to the woman, the [village head] summoned her and her [lover] on Monday and detained them through the day and night. After her family said they could not pay the fine, the [head] allegedly ordered the mass rape on Tuesday.
Police said all 13 accused men have been arrested and charged with rape. Among them are 10 who made up the “village court.”
The woman, who was hospitalized, recounted her ordeal to The Times of India:
I had an affair with a man. We were dragged to a gathering where our community headman was present. They told me to pay 50,000 rupees [$807]. When I said I couldn’t, they brutalized me.
According to the Guardian article, violence against women in India is a common occurrence. Four years ago a teenage girl was stripped and forced to walk naked through four villages. During her humiliating experience, people lining the streets took turns molesting her. Some made video recordings of the incident using cell phones.
In 2012, a 23-year-old woman was gang-rapes and murdered, touching off angry popular protests and demands for stricter laws and better policing. It was at this time that the United Nations asked India to ensure security for women.