Protests in In­dia over new rape-mur­der case

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Hyderabad, In­dia - Hun­dreds of peo­ple on Satur­day laid siege to a po­lice sta­tion where four men are be­ing held over the lat­est grue­some rape-mur­der to shock In­dia.

Ba­ton-wield­ing po­lice pushed back crowds from the build­ing in the south­ern city of Hyderabad where they said the 27 year old vet­eri­nary doc­tor was gan­graped, killed and then her body burned.

While the sus­pects were quickly de­tained, the killing sparked new out­rage in a coun­try that has been in the in­ter­na­tional spot­light over its han­dling of sex as­saults since the bru­tal gan­grape and mur­der of a stu­dent on a Delhi bus in 2012.

‘How any­one could sub­ject an­other human be­ing to such ter­ri­ble, un­pro­voked vi­o­lence is be­yond imag­i­na­tion’, said for­mer op­po­si­tion Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi on Twit­ter.

Po­lice had to bring in re­in­force­ments to bol­ster se­cu­rity around the Hyderabad po­lice sta­tion. But po­lice of­fi­cials were also crit­i­cised as protests spread to other cities. A woman who tried to stage a one-per­son demon­stra­tion out­side the In­dian par­lia­ment in New Delhi said she was beaten by po­lice after re­fus­ing to go home.

Anu Dubey had sat out­side the as­sem­bly car­ry­ing a sign ques­tion­ing why she could not ‘feel safe’ in her own coun­try. “The only pur­pose of this protest is to en­sure that I am not burned to death to­mor­row,” she said.

“That woman died, other girls have also died. Ev­ery 20 min­utes, there is a rape in In­dia. I don’t want to die. And I can’t be a spec­ta­tor to any more rape cases. I’m tired of see­ing such cases over and over again,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment fig­ures, more than 32,000 rape cases were re­ported in 2017, how­ever, ex­perts say that the crime is vastly un­re­ported. Other cases re­ported on Satur­day in­cluded a 16 year old girl who died in a Delhi hospi­tal ten-days after be­ing al­legedly raped by a neigh­bour and then set ablaze.

Po­lice said the 27 year old Hyderabad vet, who can­not be named, was ab­ducted on Wed­nes­day night after she left her scooter near an ex­press-way toll booth.

The four men are al­leged to have de­flated a tyre whilst she was away and of­fered to help when she re­turned to col­lect it.

The vic­tim called her younger sis­ter to say she was stranded and that a group of men had of­fered to fix her scooter. The woman said she was ‘afraid’, ac­cord­ing her sis­ter’s tes­ti­mony to po­lice. The sis­ter called back later but the vic­tim’s phone was switched off.

Po­lice said the ashes of the woman’s body were found on Thurs­day morn­ing. The body had been wrapped in a blan­ket and doused with kerosene.

The killing has set off a firestorm of so­cial me­dia com­ment, many call­ing for a tough re­ac­tion. ‘The cul­prits must be given sever­est pun­ish­ment’, com­mented Ra­jasthan state’s Chief Min­is­ter Ashok Gehlot.

Women's groups turned against a min­is­ter in Te­lan­gana state, which in­cludes Hyderabad, who said the dead woman could have been saved if she had called po­lice first in­stead of her sis­ter.

“Is there no shame,” hit back Swati Mali­wal, head of the Delhi Women’s Commission. “Now the blame is be­ing put on the dead vic­tim.”


Peo­ple protest fol­low­ing the rape and mur­der of a vet­eri­nar­ian in Hyderabad, in New Delhi on Satur­day

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