Indian AIDS widow stoned to death

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com July 17 2003 12:00 AM ET

An HIV-positive woman who recently lost her husband to AIDS was stoned to death in the southern Indian town of Kuppam after she failed to heed villagers' and relatives' demands that she move away, the Bangkok Post reports. The attack took place on July 4. The woman, identified only as Ponnamma, was 30. "On that gruesome day, some persons attempted to carry away the bench on which she was lying," R. Meera of the nongovernmental group Women's Initiatives, told the Post. "Sensing that her life was in danger, she tried to get up and run away. She was then chased, stoned, and hit with the bench, killed and burnt." Women's Initiatives has been investigating the case since it was first reported in the local media. AIDS groups in India, as well as throughout Southeast Asia and Australia, have condemned the attack.