A mob of 14 women stormed a court in Nagpur, Central India with knives, and killed the man who was on trial for rape and molestation. The BBC reports it and The Hindu has a few more details. It seems the court was stormed in a similar manner when a gangster on trial was killed.

I couldn’t find any information about who these women were, what the background was for the trial, or what is going on in Nagpur. Shocking as this news is, angry murderous women are perhaps not such an unknown figure in India. Mahasweta Devi has a wonderful story in Imaginary Maps called “The Hunt” which describes the execution of a potential rapist by a Tribal woman, which is based on a true incident. There are example in popular films like Zakhmi Aurat, a rape-revenge story. And popular figures like Phoolan Devi are the stuff of folklore. The image is alive and present in myths of the Goddess Kali, if you want to get really essentialist.

An image of Phoolan Devi on the back of a rikshaw in Bangladesh.

Phoolan