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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Despite increased awareness of violence against women, rape still major concern in Asian nation

An unidentified 16-year-old Indian girl has died a horrible death - a reminder that violence against women in this Asian nation is still an overwhelming social evil. Authorities say the girl was first raped in October, and then raped a second time after she report the attack to police. She died after being set on fire by her male attackers.

A condolence rally was held Wednesday for the teen. In response, several hundred activists protested in Kolkata over the crime. The incident was shocking in its brutality a year after several brutal sex crimes have been widely reported in India.

A condolence rally was held Wednesday for the teen. In response, several hundred activists protested in Kolkata over the crime. The incident was shocking in its brutality a year after several brutal sex crimes have been widely reported in India.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: India, gang rape, immolation, violence against women


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Living near the eastern city of Kolkata and the capital, the victim was raped by more than six men near her family's home in the town of Madhyagram. Set on fire on December 23, she succumbed to her injuries in a state-run hospital late on New Year's Eve.

"She gave us a dying declaration in front of the health officials that she was set on fire by two persons close to the accused when she was alone at home on Dec. 23," local policeman Nimbala Santosh Uttamrao told reporters.

Arrests in the case were made earlier this week, two months after the initial crime. "The accused tried to kill my daughter by setting her on fire to hush up their crimes," the victim's father told AFP. He is a migrant taxi driver from Bihar, India's poorest state.

A condolence rally was held Wednesday for the teen. In response, several hundred activists protested in Kolkata over the crime. The incident was shocking in its brutality a year after several brutal sex crimes have been widely reported in India.

Activists also gathered in the capital New Delhi on Thursday, accusing the West Bengal government and police of failing to act swiftly after the girl lodged her initial complaint. "We strongly believe that if your government had acted against the criminals ... the subsequent horrific events would have been prevented and the young woman's life could have been saved," the All India Democratic Women's Association along with other activists wrote in a letter to the state's chief minister.

"The father of the girl ... had brought his family to Kolkata a few months back precisely because they had thought that the daughter would get a better education in Kolkata," the letter said.

A top state official vows that justice will be swift for the perpetrators in this heinous crime. "All the accused against whom there are allegations have been arrested. We are committed to zero tolerance for sexual violence," West Bengal chief secretary Sanjay Mitra told reporters in Kolkata.



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