Dalits up in arms against rape, murder of low-caste teen in India » Kashmir Media Service

New Delhi, September 30 (KMS): As India recorded an average of 87 rape cases daily in 2019 and overall 4,05,861 cases of crime against women during the year, a Dalit teenager girl raped by a gang of upper-caste Hindus died of her injuries, sparking outrage from low caste Hindus in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

India’s 200 million low-caste Dalits have long faced discrimination and abuse, and campaigners say attacks have increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 19-year-old woman was brutally assaulted in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on September 14, according to a complaint filed by the family with police. Found lying in a pool of blood and paralysed from injuries to her neck and spine, the woman was rushed to a local hospital before being brought to New Delhi on Monday as her condition worsened. She died during the course of treatment on Tuesday morning.

Rights activist Kavita Krishnan said the attack reflected the “larger picture of structural violence” against Dalit women.

Priyanka Gandhi, a member of the opposition Congress party, blamed the assault on the deteriorating law-and-order situation in Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

The France based news agency, AFP, while commenting on the incident said, “Women in India are subjected to alarming levels of sexual assaults, irrespective of their caste or class.”

India recorded 378,236 cases of crimes against women in 2018, the data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) showed. A total of 32,033 cases of rape were lodged in 2019, which was 7.3 per cent of all crimes against women during the year, the data showed.

The crime rate registered per lac women population stood at 62.4 in 2019 in comparison with 58.8 in 2018, it showed.

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