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It was her land, she said, and she was tired of her uncle…

September 30, 2016

It was her land, she said, and she was tired of her uncle planting his wheat and grazing his cows on her property without paying rent.

So in April, Leena Sharma traveled from her home in New Delhi to her ancestral village in central India to confront her uncle, a powerful community leader. She planned to build a fence to keep him off her 37 acres — and eventually sell the property.

It was a bold move in a country where patriarchy remains deeply ingrained and where women have long been denied the legal right to own land. For Sharma, the consequences of asserting her property rights would prove deadly. First she disappeared. Then her half-naked corpse was found in a remote forest about six miles away.

This is part of a series about oppression and violence against women in India as a rising generation collides with old social mores.

Read more: It’s not easy for women to own land in India. One woman died fighting for hers. 

Source: Washington Post

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