Fresh attacks against girls worry India


TROUBLED TIMES: Schoolgirls participate in a protest
rally in Ranchi against the rape of two teenagers in
Chatra and Pakur districts in Jharkhand; and (below)
Deepika Singh Rajawat, a lawyer for the eight-year-old
girl’s family who was raped and murdered in Jammu’s
Kathua district in January, gestures after a hearing in
the supreme court in New Delhi
TROUBLED TIMES: Schoolgirls participate in a protest rally in Ranchi against the rape of two teenagers in Chatra and Pakur districts in Jharkhand; and (below) Deepika Singh Rajawat, a lawyer for the eight-year-old girl’s family who was raped and murdered in Jammu’s Kathua district in January, gestures after a hearing in the supreme court in New Delhi

SHOCK AND FURY PROMPT CALLS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULTS ACTION A 17-YEAR-OLD Indian girl was fighting for her life on Monday (7) after being raped, doused in kero­sene and set alight, the second such case to shake the country this week as it reels from a series of brutal sexual assaults. The teenager was attacked last Fri­day (4) – the same day a 16-year-old was raped and burned to death, also in the eastern state of Jharkhand. Authorities in India are facing re­newed pressure to act on sexual crimes after the recent gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl. The cases are some of the most high-profile since the 2012 rape and murder of a student on a New Delhi bus that triggered mass protests. “The girl has suffered 70 per cent first-degree burns. There is a chance that she will survive,” Shailendra Barn­wal, police superintendent of Pakur district, said. The victim has been moved to a private hospital with specialist facili­ties for “proper treatment and recov­ery”, he said. Police arrested a 19-year-old man who lives in the same neighbourhood as the victim. “He poured kerosene on the girl and set her on fire,” Barnwal said. Fifteen people have been detained in the case of the 16-year-old, who was torched to death in the state’s Chatra district. The main suspect is said to have been angered by a village council punishment of 100 sit-ups and a $750 (£556) fine for raping the girl. He at­tacked her parents before setting their house on fire with the teenager inside. Some 40,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2016, but campaigners say the real number is higher, with victims wary of making complaints because of social stigma. The country is already agonising over the brutal attack on an eight-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir…

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