In a scene captured on a cellphone video, one of the men wags his finger angrily at her. He rages: This girl must be punished.
A villager ties her waist with rope, holding the other end, and lifts a tree branch into the air. She bows her head. The first lash comes, then another, then another. Ten in all. She lets out a wail.
Eventually the crowd starts murmuring, “Enough, enough,” although nobody moves to stop the beating. Finally, the man throws down his stick. It’s over.
She is 13 years old. Or maybe 15. Her family doesn’t know for sure. She has never set foot in a school and has spent most of her life doing chores at home, occasionally begging for food and performing in her father’s acrobatic show, for which she is given 20 rupees, about 30 cents.
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2016. 5:00 a.m. [GMT]