- The woman was attacked by a group of men on her way to court to testify against two men suspected of raping her.
- The girl's father said his family had been threatened by the family of one of the accused.
- Crimes against women have increased in India, with a reported 92 rape cases a day in 2017.
A 23-year-old rape victim has died following injuries she sustained when she was set ablaze on her way to a court in the city of Unnao, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, authorities said on Saturday. The 23-year-old woman was heading to court to testify against her rapists when a group of men, including two of the suspects, attacked her and set her on fire. She had been threatened on several occasions since she reported the incident.
The woman was attacked by a group of men on her way to court to testify against two men suspected of raping her. Police arrested five men, amongst them, two of the alleged rapists, on suspicion of the attack. She was raped in December 2018 by five men. Police arrested three of them while two others were still at large. Two of them were later released on bail and reportedly participated in the attack.
According to the local press, she was reportedly beaten and stabbed by the group before she was set ablaze. The young woman sustained serious injured and was flown on Thursday from Uttar Pradesh to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, where she died of cardiac arrest on Friday, according to hospital burn unit head Shalab Kumar. The Doctor said that “she suffered 95 per cent burns.”
The Doctor added that the lady’s windpipe was burnt, and as a result, “toxic and hot fumes” had filled her lungs. The girl’s father said his family had been threatened by the family of one of the accused. “We tried to seek protection as the accused and their family kept threatening my daughter and my family, but we received little help from the government.” he said. Uttar Pradesh Governor Yogi Adityanath has promised that the case will be tried quickly, and that the culprits will be punished rigorously.
She died on the same day that police in the southern state of Telangana killed four men suspected of raping and killing a 27-year-old veterinarian. The four men were in custody and had not been formally convicted. They were killed at the crime scene, where they had been taken by police. The case generated adverse reactions in the country, with praise and criticism of the action. The National Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous body of the Indian Parliament, announced Friday that an investigative mission would be sent to Telangana, in response to questions from opposition MPs about the circumstances of the suspects’ deaths.
Crimes against women have increased in the Asian country. Although the government has doubled prison sentences for rapists to 20 years, civil society activists continue to demand faster implementation of the laws. About 90% of the cases of this type of crime are stopped in courts. According to the latest official figures, Indian police reported 33,658 rape cases in 2017— an average of 92 per day. However, it is estimated that the number of cases is much higher, because most victims do not report violence for fear.