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Balrampur: Anger grows after new India ‘gang rape’ death

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Members of All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) stage a protest rally against the Hathras gangrape incident

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionProtests over the death of a Dalit woman from Hathras district have broke out

The death of a second Dalit woman in a few days after an alleged gang rape has shocked and angered India.

The 22-year-old was dragged into a vehicle after going to apply for admission at a local school and raped, her mother told local media.

The news follows the death of another Dalit woman, 19, on Tuesday after an alleged gang rape by upper-caste men.

Dalits are at the bottom of the caste system. Despite laws to protect them they face widespread discrimination.

Both attacks took place in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. News of the first sparked protests in the streets in the state.

Police have registered complaints of rape and murder and arrested two men in connection with the latest case, which took place in Balrampur district.

The latest incident occurred some 500km (310 miles) away from Hathras district, where the earlier attack happened.

The first victim was grievously injured and died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday after fighting for her life for two weeks.

The second victim also died on Tuesday – but national media picked up the news on Thursday, after heavy backlash on social media over sexual assault and caste violence in India.

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Local journalist Saurabh Mishra told the BBC that there was heavy police presence in Balrampur after the second death. “While officials are not confirming whether the victim was raped, they have also not denied the family’s allegation,” he added.

The woman’s parents started to panic when she did not arrive home at her usual time on Tuesday evening.

The victim’s mother told Mr Mishra that her daughter had gone to a nearby school to apply for admission on Tuesday morning. When she was returning home, a group of three or four men stopped her and forced her into their vehicle.

media captionDelhi Nirbhaya rape death penalty: How the case galvanised India

The mother alleges that they drugged her before raping her. “They broke my daughter’s leg, they broke her waist,” she said, adding that the men put her in a rickshaw after and sent her home.

“When she arrived, she looked very weak. Our daughter couldn’t speak or get up. When we asked her what had happened, she couldn’t answer,” she added.

Ten minutes later, the victim complained of a “burning sensation” in her stomach, prompting the family to rush her to a local hospital.

“But since her condition was very serious, the doctor asked us to take her to a larger hospital in the city – but she died on the way there,” the mother added.

The news has spurred furious reactions on social media. The state’s former chief minister, who sits in opposition now, hit out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

“After Hathras, another daughter has been gang raped and brutalised in Balrampur,” Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, adding that the government should act quickly in this incident.

Other opposition leaders and Indians have also strongly decried the attack on social media.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionProtesters took to the streets in the capital, Delhi
On Wednesday, outrage over the Hathras attack grew as the family accused police officials of cremating her body without their permission.

Activists called on police to explain why they took the “inhumane decision”, while protests broke out in Hathras and other cities, including the capital, Delhi.

A senior district administration official, however, denied the allegation, saying the family’s consent was taken.

Officials have now imposed Section 144, which means no more than four people will be able to gather – a measure often used to contain protests.

Senior leaders of the opposition Congress Party, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, will go to Hathras to visit the victim’s family later on Thursday, local media reported.

Rape and sexual violence have been under the spotlight in India since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi, which led to huge protests and changes to the country’s rape laws.

But there has been no sign of crimes against women and girls abating.

Related Topics

  • India

  • Rape in India
  • Asia
  • Women in India

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