3 Indian Teenage Girls Were Raped & Burned Alive In One Week And You Need To Hear About It
According to the BBC, a third teen girl in India was raped and burned alive this week. The 16-year-old girl died from her injuries and is the second person to die from such an attack in the past few days.
The first girl who was attacked this week was in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand; she was also 16 years old. Her attack was reported by the BBC on May 5. She is believed to have been kidnapped while her parents were attending a wedding, the news outlet reported.
According to the BBC, police said she was raped in nearby woods. When she told her parents, they reported the crime to the village elders, who then ordered her alleged attackers to do 100 sit-ups and pay a $750 fine. Angered by their punishment, her alleged attackers reportedly retaliated against the girl and her parents. "The two accused thrashed the parents and rushed to the house where they set the girl ablaze with the help of their accomplices," the officer in charge of the local police station told Agence France-Presse. The 16-year-old died due to her injuries.
Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with this deadly attack. The Washington Post reported that officials said the village council's original punishment was "trivializing" the teen's rape and that the council might be punished as well.
The second girl, 17, was raped and burned in Jharkhand as well. She's in critical condition, according to the BBC. Her attack was reported on May 7, and she was reportedly in critical condition.
Police said the attack took place after the teenager turned down a marriage proposal. "The accused told us that he wanted to marry the victim but she wasn't ready," a police officer told the BBC. A suspect has been arrested in connection with the attack on the 17 year old.
On May 11, the BBC reported that the third girl was burned alive after she told her attacker that she would tell her parents about the rape. That incident took place in the Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh. The BBC reported that police have arrested a suspect in her case, a 28-year-old man named Ravi Chadhar. She was reportedly home alone.
Authorities have yet to say if the three incidents are related.
In April, India's Cabinet passed an executive order outlawing rape of children under 12 and imposing the death penalty as punishment, according to CNN. (The law will become permanent after approval from the Indian Parliament, which is in recess.) More than 40,000 rapes in India are reported each year, according to Al Jazeera.
A report in April from the BBC found that rape is increasingly being used as a tool of power and control over Indian women. The Guardian called these three cases "the most high-profile" since the rape and murder of a student on a New Delhi bus in 2012, which led to massive protests.