A 19-year-old woman in East India has allegedly been tied to a tree and beaten by her neighbours after they discovered she was in a same-sex relationship.

The woman – Sarmila Malla – was allegedly found in bed with another woman and dragged out of her house, according to The Times of India.

“I was dragged out of my house by my neighbours,” she told The Times of India.

“They beat me up and tied me to a tree. They abused and kicked me when my parents tried to rescue me.”

Eventually, other neighbours informed the police who rescued her from the crowd.

Ganesh Parida, a resident of the village, told the The Times of India that he and a few others “beat up and tied Sarmila to a tree in our village because she is a lesbian”.

“She is immoral and has besmirched the name of our village.”

Malla had reportedly been in a relationship with her girlfriend for six months.

Police have reportedly opened a case against some of the perpetrators.

In September last year, India’s Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality in what was described as the largest-scale victory for gay rights in history.

The ruling overturned a judgement from 2013 which upheld colonial-era law, known as Section 377, which categorised gay sex as an “unnatural offence”.

Campaigners in India had been fighting for decriminalisation for years, with observers outside the court cheering and bursting into tears as the verdict was delivered.

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