News World Indian rape victim dies in hospital after being set ablaze

Indian rape victim dies in hospital after being set ablaze

UNNAO, India, Dec 7 (Reuters) – A 23-year-old rape victim set on fire by a gang of men, which included her alleged rapists, has died in a New Delhi hospital, prompting protests from opposition leaders who blamed the ruling party for failing to check incidents of violence against women.

The woman was on her way to board a train in Unnao district of northern Uttar Pradesh state to attend a court hearing over her rape when she was doused with kerosene and set on fire on Thursday, according to police.

She was airlifted to New Delhi for treatment later that day.

The attack, the second major case of violence against women in the past two weeks, has sparked public outrage in India.

The woman died on Friday after suffering a cardiac arrest, Dr. Shalabh Kumar, the head of burns and plastic department at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital told Reuters.

“She was having 95% burns,” he said, adding the woman’s wind pipe was burnt and “toxic and hot fumes” had filled her lungs.

The woman had filed a complaint with Unnao police in March alleging she had been raped at gun-point on December 12, 2018, police documents showed. The woman named two local men, one of them was arrested by police, the other absconded.

Having been subsequently jailed, the alleged rapist was released last week after securing bail, police officer S.K. Bhagat said in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

On Thursday, the rape victim was seized by five men, including the two people she had named in her complaint, and beaten, stabbed and set on fire, local media reported citing her statement to police.

Still ablaze, she walked nearly a kilometre, seeking help before finally calling the police herself, according to Aaj Taj TV news channel.

All five of the accused have been arrested and are in 14-day judicial custody, Vikrant Vir, superintendent of police, Unnao, told Reuters.

A fast-track court would hear the case and the guilty would not be spared, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said.

In India, lengthy trials, often a result of fewer courts and judges, tend to delay convictions, leaving poor, disillusioned victims with little money and patience to pursue the case.

Also, long trials result in bails to the accused who often intimidate victims and their witnesses, and try tampering with evidence.

The victim’s father has alleged that his family was been harassed and threatened by the family 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. “Now, every single accused should be either hanged or shot dead.”

CRIME IN UTTAR PRADESH

Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state and has become notorious for its poor record regarding crimes against women, with more than 4,200 cases of rape reported there in 2017 – the highest in the country.

Opposition leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, general secretary of India’s main opposition Congress party, accused the Uttar Pradesh government, run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, of failing to curb crimes against women.

In an earlier incident in Unnao, a young woman had accused Uttar Pradesh lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar of raping her in 2017. In July last year, the victim and her lawyer were critically injured in a highway collision, when a truck hit the car in which they were travelling. The woman’s two aunts, who were also in the car, were killed in the accident.

Sengar denies the rape and any involvement in the car crash.

On Friday, Indian police shot dead four men who were suspected of raping and killing a 27-year-old veterinarian near Hyderabad city, drawing applause from across the country angry over violence against women.

But many were also concerned that police had over reached in shooting the alleged suspects without any trial.

“What will it take (to end rapes)? Not the encounter of just the poor men who rape but swift arrest and certain punishment of all rapists, however powerful or closely related to the victim,” said Karuna Nundy, a lawyer practising at India’s Supreme Court who was instrumental in shaping anti-rape laws in 2013.

“And that takes real change, it’s not as easy as passing a legal amendment to increase sentencing.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Three new coronavirus cases detected out of 3,036 tests

The Ministry of Health has announced that 3 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected in Cyprus over the past 24 hours out...

Ministry of Health: New email address for covid protocol questions

An email address is now set up for any questions concerning the protocols and guidelines for matters regarding the COVID-19 virus, the public may...

Christodoulides tells EU counterparts Turkey chooses to escalate tensions with Cyprus

The Minister of Foreign Affairs presented the ongoing illegal actions of Turkey in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus to EU's Foreign Affairs Council...

CSEC investigates possible match fixing for Match Day 4 of Cyprus League

The Cyprus Sports Ethics Committee (CSEC) is investigating a possible match fixing in the framework of the Match Day 4 of the Cyprus football...

US donates personal protective equipment worth €15,000 to Famagusta Hospital

US Ambassador in Cyprus Judith Garber handed over on Monday personal protective equipment valued at €15,000, including over 13,000 masks and over 600 goggles...

Taste

Swordfish with aubergines

To toast the sesame seeds: place sesame seeds in a small non-stick frying pan over low heat and stir until you begin to smell...

Chicken with okra and bulgur wheat

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the okra until golden. Remove the okra, lay out in an oven tray and sprinkle with...

Ravioli

Just a little before serving, heat the broth and add the ravioli. (If the ravioli is frozen you don’t have to defrost). Heat them...

Seafood kebab with avocado salad

Place the mussels, shrimps and salmon in a bowl together with tarragon and lemon zest. Season and cover, keeping in the fridge for 15...