The Assam Rape Festival story, a satirical American take on India's rape epidemic, is drawing widespread protests in the Indian state and may even lead to defamation charges.
The story of the Assam Rape Festival came from the satirical American website National Report. The article stated that at the festival, "every non-married girl age 7-16 will have the chance to flee to safety or get raped."
The satirical story went on to quote Madhuban Ahluwalia, the fictional leader of the rape festival.
"This is a long time tradition in Assam dating back thousands of years," the article quoted Ahluwalia. "We rape the evil demons out of the girls, otherwise they will cheat on us and we will be forced to kill them. So it is necessary for everyone."
The story now has Indian officials up in arms.
"The fraudulent and extremely unethical article about the completely fictitious festival is an act of serious disrespect and total disregard shown towards the humble and unsuspecting people of Assam," said Barnali Saikia Bora, officer on special duty. "The details in the article are gruesome to the point of being demonic and the writer of such a piece of pure evil is not fit for human society."
Officials said the confusion came because the site was not labeled as satire.
"There was no disclaimer saying the article is a spoof. People mistook it for fact," said Simanta Sharma, president, Assam Society Of Bangalore (ASOB).
Petitioners have sought an apology from website, while Indian officials are looking into possible defamation charges.
The satirical story described how the Assam Rape Festival began in 43 BC "when Baalkrishan Tamil Nadu raped everyone in his village of Doomdooma."Baalkrishan Tamil Nadu is remembered every year at this event, in fact the trophy given to the man with the most rapes is called 'The Baalkrishan,' " the article stated.
It also went on to quote fictional rape victims, including 12-year-old Jaitashri Majumdar.
"I came so close to not getting raped. I almost got to the 'rape-free-zone' at the edge of town, but at the last minute 9 men jumped on me and raped me. Luckily I am just recovering now so I can participate in this year's events, otherwise I would be put to death by stoning."
Indian officials are looking into the site that wrote the Assam Rape Festival story, and have determined that it was sourced from Uganda and hosted in the United States.