On August 13, 2004, a group of around 200 women attacked and brutally murdered a serial rapist in front of an Indian courthouse while he was under police protection. Even though every woman in the town claimed responsibility for it, only one was charged with the crime and ten years later her trial is ongoing.
Usha Narayane is on trial for allegedly organizing the mob of women who violently killed Akku Yadav, a charge that Narayane denies being guilty of. She actually denies even being a part of the mob that killed Yadav, however she does believe that the hundreds of women from the Kasturba Slum that take responsibility for killing the serial rapist did in fact do the right thing.
Yadav was brutally murdered when hundreds of women from the Kasturba Nagar Slum, who accused him of rape, murder, and multiple other crimes, swarmed him and basically lynched him in front of public officials. The woman stormed the courthouse on the day of his hearing for the crimes he was accused of and proceeded to cut off his penis, repeatedly stab him, and throw rocks at him until her was dead.
He had two police officers protecting him, however they fled the scene out of fear for their own safety. Five women were arrested at the scene, however they were released when every single woman from the slum claimed responsibility for the attack.
Many of the women claimed that when they reported being raped to the police, they were either laughed at or told that they deserved to be raped. In spite of the overwhelming evidence against Yadav, police had refused to do nothing in the past and his chain of sexual assaults went on for years.
Narayane had actually been approached by Yadav two weeks prior to his death. At the time she was 25 and an outspoken advocate for the women in her community, which she said caused him to threaten to rape her.
“He raped only poor people whom he thought wouldn’t go and tell, or if they did, wouldn’t be listened to,” she said, even though she had been able to lift herself out of poverty. “But he made a big mistake in threatening me. People felt that if I were attacked, no woman would ever be safe.”
Narayane said that she was actually collecting signatures for a petition when Yadav was killed, however police still arrested her and blamed her for planning the attack.
She was reportedly released from custody in 2012, however her trial is still ongoing. Her fate is ultimately unknown, however the problem of women being mistreated in India’s male-dominated society is still just as bad of a problem as ever.