A 15-year-old Indian girl has died after her neighbor raped and set her on fire on the terrace of her home. The fire burned 90 percent of her body.
“Unfortunately she could not be saved despite the best efforts of the medical staff,” explained investigating officer Ashwani Kumar. “We have arrested the accused, who is 19 years old, and sent him to judicial custody. An investigation is on to find out more about the motive and details of the crime.”
Her father found her bleeding and screaming the name of her neighbor.
“She was screaming… that he raped her and set her on fire. She kept saying his name… till the time she was conscious, she was asking for water and calling out his name… she was in so much pain,” he described.
Her screams woke up her younger sister.
“I ran up, and there was my sister and this smell… and she was screaming for water. I ran down and woke up my father. I even went knocking on neighbours’ doors,” she told the media.
She passed away on Wednesday after an infection “permeated into her blood stream.” Doctors also said she suffered “blunt injuries on her head and leg.”
Her father said the suspect harassed “his daughter for a year despite several warnings.”
This case is only the latest in a long string of sexual assaults and violence against women in India. Rape victims hardly report the crimes because society often casts them aside or police and relatives pressure them to drop the cases.
In 2012, six men gang-raped a woman to death on a bus, which brought to light India’s treatment of women. The case caused massive protests across the country and forced the government to change rape laws.
In January, a 14-year-old girl told NDTV how three attackers held her in a “dark room” and raped her for two weeks. They then shot her and dumped her in a well outside of New Delhi.
“After a fortnight of repeated abuse, one night they said they will let me go,” she said, adding:
They put me in the car and drove to a store to buy alcohol and then parked the car near a well. They told me they will let me go but as I took a few steps back, they fired two shots. The first bullet hit my bone. I didn’t feel a thing, my body just went numb. But after the second one I fainted.
Last May, seven or eight men broke into a Christian missionary school and raped a nun in her 70s. The following month, authorities arrested two brothers after they raped a 22-year-old Japanese tourist near Bodh Gaya, Buddhism’s holiest site.