Monday, Jul 16, 2018

India rape: Second Jharkhand teenager set alight, police say

India rape: Second Jharkhand teenager set alight, police say
07 May
2018

A 17-year-old girl in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand is in a critical condition after she was raped and then set on fire, police say.

A local man has been arrested in connection with the attack.

It is the second such incident to be reported in Jharkhand in recent days - another teenage girl who police say was raped and burned alive died on Sunday.

Police have not indicated the two cases are connected. They come as India reels from a string of violent sexual crimes.

One of them involves an eight-year-old Kashmiri Muslim girl who was gang raped, drugged and murdered in January.

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the trial of eight men, all of them Hindus, who have been arrested in the case must be held in Punjab because of the deep divisions between the communities.

In the latest case in Jharkhand, the girl is undergoing treatment in hospital after suffering 95% burn injuries, police said.

"The accused told us that he wanted to marry the victim but she wasn't ready," police officer Shailendra Barnwal said. They added that he attacked her on Friday in her relative's house in a village in Pakur district. The accused lived close by.

According to the police, he waited until she was alone, then broke into the house and raped her before setting her alight.

Neighbours reportedly rushed to the house on hearing her screams and took her to hospital.

The main suspect and 14 others have already been arrested in connection with the earlier rape and burning case in the state. It took place in Chatra district, about 380km (236 miles) from Pakur, late on Friday.

The shocking case in Kashmir and another in Uttar Pradesh state have caused outrage in India.

Following protests, the cabinet approved the introduction of the death penalty for people convicted of raping children.

A number of serious crimes in India carry the death penalty, but raping a child was not among them until now.

About 40,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2016.

Many cases, however, are believed to go unreported because of the stigma that is attached to rape and sexual assault.

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