Fatwa: Bangladeshi woman brutally whipped

DHAKA: A widow was whipped 202 times and a man 101 times following a fatwa by a religious leader for their alleged involvement in "anti-social activity" in a village in southeastern Bangladesh, prompting local protests and action by the police.

Piara Begum, a widow of 40, and Mamun Miah, 25, were whipped before hundreds of people at Khaiyar in Comilla district Saturday night.

The woman fell unconscious and was rushed to hospital. Doctors said she was critically injured and needed to be given intensive treatment.

Miah was whipped 101 times, The Daily Star newspaper said Monday.

Punishment under a fatwa is held illegal as per a high court ruling of 2001 in Bangladesh that has a predominant Sunni Muslim population.

The police arrested six people, including Moulana Mohammed Manirul Islam, a religious leader working in the local madrassa.

Piara Begum filed a case with the Debidwar police station under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.

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