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Muslim woman caned for talking to a Hindu man in Bangladesh

By Sukhdeep Chhabra     Jun 8, 2009 in World
A Muslim woman was caned for talking to a Hindu man in Bangladesh, the police reported on June 6. This comes after a government policy to ensure equal property rights to women in the country was met by angry protests by Muslim clerics.
In a country that prides itself on woman empowerment, often citing the tenures of female prime ministers in a Muslim majority nation, a Muslim woman and mother of four was caned for talking to a Hindu man.
The punishment, carried out in a remote village on the orders of village elders was apparently because of a chat, that Kamala Begum, 38, had with an unidentified Hindu man. Local police chief Enamul Monowar told AFP, "The villagers got bundles of 25 sticks and hit her four times on the back. They claimed it was a symbolic punishment. But she's humiliated and has been in great mental pain.” He added that the police have arrested one man and are looking for others who meted out the punishment to the woman in Shason in northeastern Bangladesh
Salma Ali, the head of rights group Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association said, “In the last few months, we have seen villagers invoking sharia to mete out barbaric punishments to women,” referring to the rise in the cruel treatment of women under the locally applied Islamic sharia law.
The third such reported incident in two weeks, it has caused concern among women’s rights groups in the country who say there has been a spike in the number of "fatwas" - judgments in line with sharia law in rural areas.
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