Rape, killing of Dalit woman sparks anger in India
Publish- September 30, 2020, 04:19 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
Update- September 30, 2020, 04:28 PM
The gang rape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit (formerly untouchable) woman has sparked outrage across India.
Several politicians and activists on Wednesday demanded justice and protesters rallying on the streets.
It is the latest gruesome case of sexual violence against women to rile India, where reports of rape are hauntingly familiar, reports AP.
The victim, who belonged to the Dalit community, was raped by four men on September 14 in the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district.
The woman's family told local media that they found her naked, bleeding and paralysed, with a split tongue and a broken spine in a field outside their home. She died two weeks later after battling serious injuries in a hospital in New Delhi.
Police said the four men, all from an upper caste, have been arrested.
The family of the victim girl accused police officials of cremating her body without their permission, reports BBC.
Videos on social media show the family weeping as police insisted on cremating the body without allowing them to take it home.
Senior Police Officer Vikrant Veer denied the allegations, while the opposition Congress party leader, Rahul Gandhi, described the cremation incident as “abusive and unjust,” reports AP.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday ordered a special investigation team to handle the case and said it will be tried in a fast-track court.
In New Delhi, police detained several women activists after they tried to march in the street shouting slogans against Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The demonstrators carried placards that read: “Stop rape culture.”
Dalits — formerly known as “untouchables” and at the bottom of an unforgiving Hindu caste hierarchy — are victims of thousands of attacks each year.
According to human rights organisations, Dalit women are particularly vulnerable to caste-based discrimination and sexual violence.
Last month, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was raped and killed in Uttar Pradesh.
In December last year, a 23-year-old Dalit woman in the same state died after being set ablaze by a gang of men as she made her way to court to press rape charges. Both cases are pending in court.
According to the government, police registered 33,658 cases of rape in 2017 — an average of 92 per day and a 35 percent jump from 2012. About 10,000 of the reported victims were children.