The alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl from India’s lowest caste has sparked a third day of protests in the capital to highlight the country’s high level of sexual violence.
Hundreds of protesters in Delhi on Tuesday held banners reading “Give justice to the little girl” and demanded the death penalty for the four accused.
The 200 million strong Dalit community has long suffered discrimination and abuse in India, with attacks on the rise since the onset of the corona virus epidemic.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the alleged attack was “barbaric” and “shameful”. “The law and order situation in Delhi needs to be improved,” he wrote, adding that he would meet the girl’s family on Wednesday.
Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted that the daughter of a Dalit is also the daughter of the country.
The girl’s family told local media that her last rites were performed without her consent and they feared she would be attacked by a priest and three crematorium workers. She went to the cemetery, near the family home in southwest Delhi, to fetch water on Sunday.
Four people allegedly called her mother to the cemetery and told her that the girl had been electrocuted. The mother was told that if she reported the death to the police, the post-mortem doctor would remove her daughter’s organs and sell them.
The child’s body was later buried, Singh said.
Police later arrested four people who are now charged with rape and murder.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, an average of about 90 rapes of girls and women were reported in the country of 1.3 billion people in 2019. A large number of sexual assaults are not reported.
Last year, a 19-year-old woman died from her injuries after she was allegedly raped by four upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh, sparking outrage across India and days of protests. ۔
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