Woman dies after gang rape in India, second in a week

A woman from the marginalized Dalit community in India died of gang rape, police said on Thursday, days after the death of a teenager from the same low caste group at the hands of a group of high caste men aroused outrage. The 22-year-old, a member of India’s ‘untouchable’ Dalit community, was allegedly raped by two men on Tuesday and died while being taken to hospital, Uttar state police said Pradesh, in the north of the country.

The latest assaults come months later four men were hanged for the gang rape and murder in 2012 of a student on a bus in Delhi, a case that symbolized the country’s problems of sexual violence.

Police said two men in the latest case were arrested on charges of gang rape and murder, without giving further details of their identities.

India Rape
Student activists shout slogans while burning an effigy of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a protest against gang rape and murder of a teenager in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, October 1, 2020.

Mahesh Kumar A / AP

An investigation was underway and the suspects could be tried by a special expedited court, they added.

“A rickshaw-wallah (driver) brought her home. (She) was thrown in front of our house. My child could barely stand or speak,” her mother told the news channel. NDTV.

The incident took place in the district of Balrampur, Uttar Pradesh, about 300 miles from where the other Dalit girl was allegedly gang raped in mid-September by four upper caste men. The 19-year-old, paralyzed by her injuries, was rushed to New Delhi hospital 200 kilometers away but died on Tuesday.

His death sparked protests in Delhi and towns in Uttar Pradesh. Indian police on Thursday arrested the main leaders of the opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, and his sister Priyanka Gandhi, after preventing them from reaching the village where the 19-year-old victim lived.

Police officer Manoj Dixit said the two party leaders were arrested for breaking an order banning the gathering of four or more people in the area to prevent violence from protesters.

India’s 200 million Dalits have long been victims of discrimination and abuse, and activists say attacks have increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

An average of 87 rape cases were reported each day last year, according to the latest data released Tuesday by the National Crime Records Bureau, but a large number are reportedly going unreported.

The office reported a more than seven percent increase in the number of crimes against women in 2019 compared to the previous year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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