16-year-old girl set on fire after group of men raped her
According to police, a 16-year-old Indian girl who was allegedly set ablaze and gang-raped by two men has passed away in the hospital.
In a nation with high rates of crime against women, the teen girl belonged to the Dalit caste, which is at the bottom of the Hindu caste system. Dalits experience disproportionately high levels of sexual violence.
Less than a week prior to her death on Monday, two Dalit sisters, ages 15 and 17, were discovered hanging from a tree after allegedly being sexually assaulted and killed by six men.
Both cases happened in the impoverished northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which has 230 million residents and frequently makes headlines for crimes of a similar nature.
In the most recent incident, a girl from a remote region was reportedly attacked by two males early this month and set on fire.
She was taken to a hospital in Lucknow, the state capital, where she passed away on Monday from her wounds.
Local police head Dinesh Kumar Prabhu told AFP, “We detained the suspects within two hours of the crime being reported and assured the family of adequate follow-up action against the criminals.”
Police had since been stationed outside the girl’s home, according to Prabhu, “to check any untoward incidence.”
Low-caste families have previously faced threats or attacks in an effort to prevent them from testifying.
Activists claim that police frequently fail to take allegations made by the marginalized group seriously and that they are without access to legal counsel.
The speedy cremation of a Dalit rape victim by upper-caste Hindu man in Uttar Pradesh last year before an autopsy sparked widespread outrage.
Government statistics show that around 32,000 rape incidents were registered in India in 2021, but many more are likely to go undetected.