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The fight to end genital mutilation in India Whats this?
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The practice is physical and psychological 'torture,' activists say

The fight to end genital mutilation in India

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the spiritual head of Dawoodi Bohra Community during a program in Mumbai on Feb. 26, 2014. The Indian religious leader defends female gentile mutilation on religious grounds. (IANS file photo)

Laveena Francis, Mumbai
India

March 13, 2017

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At the age of seven, Yamini (not her real name) went through a religious torture that continues to haunt her. The sudden, excruciating pain she suffered in her genitals left her scarred for life.

Yamini is a victim of female genital mutilation, practiced discreetly by India's approximately 1 million strong Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, a sect within the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam. While India has no law banning genital mutilation, women's groups have started a campaign to end the practice.

Yamini said that her grandmother and other elderly women in the family "took me to a dingy one-room house in a narrow lane. After talking to the woman in the house for a few minutes, my grandmother asked me to lie down."

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