India rape: Death after alleged gangrape of a Dalit woman from Hathras

Hathras district superintendent of police Vikrant Vir said in a statement posted on Twitter that the incident took place on September 14. The victim was first admitted to a hospital in Uttar Pradesh and then shifted to New Delhi due to the severity of her injuries.

Four persons have been arrested and a case of rape and murder has been registered and an investigation is underway, police in Hatras said.

The statement said that all the four persons were of higher caste and cases have also been filed against them under the law for offenses against minorities.

In India’s caste-based hierarchy, Dalits – who are the lowest and in the past have been referred to as “untouchables” – experience extreme discrimination. India’s caste system was officially abolished in 1950, but the 2,000-year-old social hierarchy imposed on the natives still exists in many aspects of life. The caste system classifies Hindus at birth, determines their place in society, what jobs they can do and who they can marry.
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Rahul Gandhi, a senior leader of India’s main opposition Congress party, has tweeted that “another woman has been killed in Uttar Pradesh’s ‘class-specific’ land regime. The government said it was fake news and left the victim dead. And the government’s toughness – none of this is fake news. “

According to human rights organizations, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Dalit women are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence and discrimination.
A 13-year-old Dalit girl was raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh last month. Last year, two Dalit children were allegedly beaten after defecating in the open. In 2018, a 13-year-old girl from a lower caste in the south of the country was beheaded, allegedly by an attacker from the upper caste.
A protest took place outside Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi on September 29, 2020, where a 19-year-old woman died two weeks after being gang-raped.

Advocates for equal rights for Dalits staged a small rally outside a Delhi hospital where a woman was being treated on Monday.

The group’s leader, Chandrasekhar Azad, tweeted: “I am protesting outside Safdarjung Hospital with the victim’s family. We will not tolerate this anymore. We will get justice.”

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Many Indian celebrities, including Bollywood actors and professional athletes, have called on the government to adopt policies to protect women using their social media.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, in the last available figures of 2018, more than 33,000 cases of alleged rape were reported – about a dozen cases per day. But experts say the actual number is probably much higher, due to the sexual assault and the social barriers faced by the victims, which prevents them from reporting the attack.

Swati Gupta reports from New Delhi and Ivana Kottasov writes in London.