August 13, 2004
Nagpur, India
Accused serial rapist Akku Yadav is lynched by a group of 200 women

Yadav had been accused of raping women for over a decade. The women had reported the assaults to police, but police seemed unconcerned with the crimes, some going so far as to outright blame the victims as they made reports to police. Occasionally Yadav was arrested for various crimes including murder, though he was almost always released quickly. The apathetic views of law enforcement led many to believe Yadav was bribing them.

While in a crowded courtroom, a group of rape victims descended on Yadav. They stabbed him approximately 70 times, stoned him, threw chili powder in his face, and cut off his penis. Every woman in the slum confessed to have had murdered Yadav, daring police to arrest them all. Twenty-two people were convicted of the lynching; one was released in 2012 while the remaining 21 were released in 2014.

The lynching proved to be a turning point for the victims who felt the police were powerless against criminals. In the months following Yadav’s lynching, three other accused rapists, who similarly had not been arrested or investigated, had their houses burned to the ground. In another case, two men were killed by a group of women after the men attempted to extort a woman for “protection.” When she refused, the men tried to strip her of her clothing. It was then the women defended the victim, killing one attacker immediately while the other died in the hospital.

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