India: second woman dies after gang rape in one week

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A second woman from India’s underprivileged Dalit community has died after being gang raped, police said Thursday, after the recent death of a Dalit girl who upset the country.

This second case concerns a 22-year-old woman who was raped Tuesday by two men and died on her way to hospital in Uttar Pradesh, police said in the northern Indian state. Dalits, once called “untouchables”, are considered to be at the bottom of the social ladder of India’s rigid caste system.

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The two suspects were arrested and charged with gang rape and murder, according to police who did not provide further details, simply stating that an investigation is underway and that they could be tried under an expedited procedure by a special tribunal.

“A rickshaw driver brought her home. (She) was thrown in front of our house. My child could barely stand or speak, ”said the victim’s mother according to comments quoted by NDTV.

The assault took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur district, about 500 kilometers from where another 19-year-old Dalit was raped in mid-September, her family said, by four higher caste men . Paralyzed from her injuries, she was taken to a hospital in New Delhi, 200 km from her village, where she died on Tuesday.

His death sparked protests in Delhi and several towns in Uttar Pradesh.

The new gang rape cases come after the execution on March 20 of four men for gang rape and the murder of a student on a Delhi bus in December 2012, a crime that has become a symbol of the problem of sexual violence against women in India.

The approximately 200 million Indian Dalits have long suffered discrimination and assault. These increased during the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, according to their supporters.

In 2019, 87 rapes were reported every day on average in India and crimes against women increased by more than 7% year on year, according to official data released on Tuesday. But that figure could be higher because many rapes go unreported, experts say.

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