Global Violence Against Women

Brutal Assault and Death of Teenage Girl Spark Protests in India

Protests have erupted in India after a 16-year-old girl was gang raped in two separate attacks and fatally set on fire.

The girl was first assaulted in late October by more than six men near her home in Madhyagram town, near Calcutta. She went to the police the next day to report it, and on her way home, was assaulted again. On Dec. 23, two close friends of the girl’s accused rapists set her on fire in her home, possibly for reporting the assaults. She was able to identify her attackers before dying in a hospital on Dec. 31.

“The accused tried to kill my daughter by setting her on fire to hush up their crimes,” the victim’s father told Agence France-Press.

The girl’s story has sparked protests in Calcutta, a little more than a year after the gang rape and torture of a medical student that resulted in her death. The violent attacks have led many to protest about the status of women and police indifference to violence against women in the country. So far, the protests have led the government to enact harsher punishments for rapists, but activists say more needs to be done.

Police made their first arrests on Wednesday — two months after she initially reported the assaults — and charged two men with murder.

Media Resources: South China Morning Post 1/2/14; The Raw Story via Agence France-Presse 1/2/14; Feminist Newswire 2/4/13, 9/10/13, 9/13/13

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