An Indian demonstrator holds a placard during a rally in memory of a student who was gang-raped and killed in New Delhi a year ago. Sexual violence in India has been thrown back into the spotlight after an attack on a 20-year-old woman. File picture: Sajjad Hussain

New Delhi -

The Press Trust of India is reporting that the Supreme Court has ordered an investigation into the gang-rape of a 20-year-old woman allegedly attacked on the orders of a village council.

The woman told police that Monday's attack in West Bengal came as punishment for falling in love with a man from a different ethnic group.

The case has brought fresh scrutiny to the role of village councils, which are common in rural India.

The councils decide on social norms in the village, and in some cases they dictate the way women can dress or who they can marry.

Those who flout the councils risk being ostracised by their communities.

Thirteen suspects, including the head of the village council, have been arrested. - Sapa-AP