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Girl, 15, raped and set on fire in India


Sep 20, 2014
Girl, 15, raped and set on fire in India

Police arrest 20-year-old man after attack at girl’s family home near Delhi that left her in critical condition with 95% burns

Female activists in New Delhi protest against alleged gang rapes in Haryana state. There have been several reported cases of rape against women or children recently in India. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/EPA
Associated Press in Delhi

Tuesday 8 March 201609.53 GMTLast modified on Tuesday 8 March 201610.15 GMT

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A 15-year-old girl has been raped and set on fire on the rooftop terrace of her family’s home in a village outside Delhi, police said.

The attack is just one of several recently reported cases of rape against women or children inIndia– underlining the persistence of such violence despite a public outcry three years ago that led to stronger laws to prevent sexual assault.

In the latest case, police arrested a 20-year-old man for allegedly raping and attempting to burn the girl to death on Monday in Tigri village, near the Delhi suburb of Noida in the state of Uttar Pradesh, according to constable Yadram Singh of Bisrakh police station.

Singh said the man had burns on his hands and was charged with several offences including rape, attempted murder, assault of a minor and causing grievous injury.

The girl was in critical condition with severe burns over most of her body and was being treated in a Delhi hospital, Singh said. Indian newspapers reported she was suffering from burns on 95% of her body.

Singh’s police report describes how the girl’s parents found her with severe burns after hearing her screaming from the rooftop terrace a few hours before dawn.

The girl later told police she was raped, beaten and then set on fire by a man she said had been stalking her for months, Singh said.

India’s women and children are considered particularly vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment helped in part by widespread social taboos against speaking about sexual assault. The stigma is enough to keep many from even reporting crimes, while many others face police resistance in filing complaints.

Experts say that has started to change sincethe fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus in 2012triggered national anger and demands that more be done to protect women. The government rushed through legislation to double prison terms for rape, and to criminalise voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. But activists say more action is needed, including better education for youths and adding basic safety infrastructure such as street lights and public bathrooms.

The public debate has also increased Indian newspaper reports of rape and assault, including several in the last few days.

On Monday, police in Mumbai said they were investigating whether a four-year-old girl whose body was dumped in bushes on the city’s outskirts had been raped before being killed, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. The girl reportedly went missing after becoming separated from her mother at a railway station on Sunday night.

In other cases in Uttar Pradesh, police arrested a 20-year-old man suspected of raping a six-year-old on Sunday night, while separately police were investigating nine people for allegedly gang-raping a woman in a field last month, PTI reported.

Last week, three boys reportedly kidnapped a teenage girl from her home and raped her repeatedly in the northern state of Haryana and later in Delhi before she escaped, the news agency cited police as saying.

Girl, 15, raped and set on fire in India | World news | The Guardian

Stop The Rape-Culture In India | ForceChange

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