In September, a young woman was brutally raped in North India. She died of her injuries. The case now affects several police officers. They are said to have delayed the investigation.
Five senior police officers were suspended in North India after a 19-year-old was brutally raped. The Hathras district police chief and four other officers had been released due to the handling of the case, Yogi Adityanath, the head of the Uttar Pradesh government, said Friday night. Critics accuse police officers of delaying the rape investigation for a long time.
In the village of Bool Garhi, the 19-year-old was so brutally raped by four men in mid-September that she died in a hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday. The young woman belonged to the lowest Dalit caste. In the past, members of this group in India were called the “untouchables”, many Hindus still consider them “impure”. Although the caste system has been officially abolished, many still consider it important. In India’s patriarchal society, Dalit women are therefore often subject to double discrimination.
Researcher causes outrage
Four suspects between the ages of 20 and 30 have since been arrested. According to a newspaper report, one of them is the son of a wealthy family of landowners who repeatedly harasses women.
The local police would have dragged the investigation for days. According to her family’s complaint, the young woman was found lying in a pool of blood and completely paralyzed after the rape, and was initially taken to a hospital in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. As her condition continued to deteriorate, she was transferred to New Delhi, but the doctors were unable to save her. Reports that police had the victim’s body secretly cremated in the middle of the night without first seeking permission from the family caused additional outrage.
Statements made by an investigator on Thursday also sparked outrage that forensics revealed that the 19-year-old had not been raped. The results of several investigations had previously “exposed the conspiracy of those who tried to plunge the state into caste riots.”
Large number of unreported cases
Adityanath announced that the suspended police officers as well as those charged with the rape and family members of the victim would be polygraphed.
The 19-year-old’s death sparked violent protests in India. Also on Friday evening, about 500 people took to the streets in New Delhi to demand clarification. The capital’s head of government also took part in the protest. Women are not free in India, even though the country is independent, said AFP’s Sanskriti participant.
In 2012, a particularly brutal rape case of a student on a bus in the capital showed that the country has a fundamental rape problem. According to official figures, a woman or girl is raped every 15 minutes – and not all cases are registered. Many Indian women are silent about it. Only particularly cruel cases make headlines in the country.