WORLD NEWS: Rape victim dies after being set alight on way to court

In 2017, police registered 33,658 cases of rape across the country - an average of 92 rapes per day. Credit: AP.

A WOMAN who was set on fire on her way to testify against her alleged rapists has died of her injuries, as reported by a New Delhi hospital.

The 23-year-old woman, who was set on fire by a gang of men, died on Friday night (December 6) after going into cardiac arrest. Dr Shalabh Kumar, head of the burns and plastic department at New Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital, said “she was having 95% burns” adding that “toxic and hot fumes” had filled her lungs.

She had filed a complaint with Unnao police in March alleging she had been raped at gunpoint in December of last year. However, after being subsequently jailed, the alleged rapists were released last week after securing bail, police officer SK Bhagat said in Lucknow.

On Thursday, December 5, the woman was on her way to board a train in Unnao district of northern Uttar Pradesh state to attend a court hearing over her rape, when she was doused with kerosene and set on fire. Five men, including the alleged rapists, have been arrested.

The sister of the victim, whose name has not been released, told the BBC that she wanted the death penalty for the group. She said the family would continue to fight the case against them in court to get justice for the young woman.

world news rape india
A vehicle drives the young woman’s body to her residence in New Delhi. Credit: Reuters

This horrifying attack is the second major case of violence against women in the past two weeks in India, sparking public outrage across the country. Sexual violence against women has been a focus since the gang-rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in Delhi in 2012.

Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state and has become notorious for its poor record regarding crimes against women, with more than 4,200 cases of rape reported in 2017. In the same year, police registered 33,658 cases of rape across the country – an average of 92 rapes every day.

As Euro Weekly News understands, in a separate case, Indian police shot dead 4 men who were suspected of raping and killing a 27-year-old veterinarian near Hyderabad city on Friday, December 6. The shooting sparked jubilation among local residents but caused concern from activists that the incident was indicative of an extrajudicial police killing.

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Written by

Isha Sesay

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