Indian rape victim dies weeks after assault sparked protests

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By Saurabh Sharma

LUCKNOW, India, September 29 (Reuters) – A woman from the lowest rung of India’s caste system died in hospital on Tuesday weeks after authorities said she was raped by a group of men, sparking protests and opposition critics for what was a failure. to protect women.

Her case was the latest in a series of horrific crimes against women in India that have given her a sad reputation as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman.

A woman reported rape every 15 minutes on average in India in 2018, according to the latest government data released in January.

“There is hardly any protection for women. Criminals openly commit crimes,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, an opposition party leader in Congress, said on Twitter.

The 19-year-old victim, from the Dalit community, was attacked and raped on September 14 in a field near his home in Hathras district, 100 km from Delhi, authorities said.

Police arrested four men in connection with the crime.

On Monday, the woman was taken from a Uttar Pradesh state hospital to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, where she died while undergoing treatment, authorities said.

About 300 protesters from Bhim’s Army, a Dalit rights party, entered the hospital premises and shouted slogans near the morgue where the woman’s body was kept.

“We will take the case to a fast-track court for a faster investigation and evidence gathering,” Hathras district authorities said in a statement.

Women’s home state, Uttar Pradesh, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party, is the most dangerous state for women in the country.

Last December, a 23-year-old Dalit woman was set on fire by a gang of men as she walked to a court in Uttar Pradesh to file a rape complaint.

(Written by Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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