14-year-old girl dead in India after same man on bail raped again

By Michael Eli Dokosi
File Photo
File Photo

A 14-year-old girl died Sunday in another case of a lower-caste woman allegedly being raped by the same man twice in India.

The victim was kidnapped in May by the same suspect who allegedly attacked her in December of last year, according to a police report filed by her parents, a senior Delhi police official told CNN.

The suspect was reportedly out on bail while he awaited trial for his first rape of the teenager.

The girl belonged to the Dalit caste, Swati Maliwal, Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women told CNN, traditionally regarded as "unclean" and the lowest of the low.

Her parents told police she had been forced to drink chemicals by her alleged attacker.

She died on Sunday after being admitted to hospital in June after falling ill. The suspect was re-arrested following her death, police said.

The case comes soon after brutal details emerged last week of another attack on a Dalit student allegedly raped by the same group of men for a second time. News of the horrific double gang-rape caused an international outcry, raised questions around why the accused were granted bail, and highlighted the vulnerability of Dalit women in India.

According to India's National Crime Records Bureau, more than four Dalit women are raped every day, with 2014 statistics saying crime against Dalits rose 19%. In many of the cases, these crimes are committed by upper caste perpetrators.

"For centuries the lower caste have been subject to oppression, and one form of suppressing their empowerment has been through violence," Sunitha Krishnan, a rape survivor, activist and mental health specialist, told CNN following the first incident.

"And to a woman or a child, the worst form of violence you can think of is sexual assault and sex crime."

Four year-old and foreigner attacked

Unfortunately, these incidents are by no means unusual, but the more sensational cases help increase visibility, according to Krishnan.

"We need to acknowledge that statistics say every 22 minutes a woman or a child gets raped in this country, and we need not only to break our silence, but to act on it," she said.

"Sex crime is not only in India. You can single out India, saying that is is the only one having this problem, but it happens everywhere. However, in a country like India, these issues are not highlighted. For every 100,000 cases, only one gets highlighted."

Even for a country accustomed to stories of sexual violence, Sunday was a particularly shocking day.

In a brutal incident Sunday evening, a four-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 28-year-old neighbor in western Delhi, Rajendar Singh, Inspector of Delhi Police, told CNN. The victim is now in a stable condition.

In the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, a 25-year-old Israeli woman was allegedly gang-raped by a group of six men, Padam Chand, Superintendent of Himachal Pradesh Police told CNN.

According to police, the victim said she was looking for a ride outside her guesthouse in the early hours of Sunday morning when the driver of a car carrying the men offered her a lift to a nearby town.

In Delhi, cases like this are happening every two days, says Swati Maliwal, Chairwoman of the Delhi Commission for Women. "It's become really sad, because we are concerned there is a lot of politics going on in Delhi, but we very strongly feel there is hardly any change being done on the ground."

CNN