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19-y-o Dalit girl gang raped and tortured by high caste men in Uttar Pradesh

Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 20:35 (IST)

Death of a 19-year-old Dalit girl who was gang raped and tortured by four high caste Hindu men in Uttar Pradesh has sparked an outrage in the country.

The four accused attacked the young girl on September 14 when she was helping her mother in the field in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. The men cut off her tongue, tortured her and tried to strangle her with the dupatta she was wearing. The girl sustained multiple fractures and was grievously injured. She was hospitalized and treated in intensive care for two week.

Yesterday, the young girl was taken to Delhi hospital for further treatment but she died soon after the move.

According to the victim's brother, no arrests were made in the first 10 days after the incident occurred. "She was left for dead. She fought for her life for 14 days," the grieving brother told BBC Hindi.

The four high caste men were later arrested and charged with rape and murder.

Msgr. Gerald Mathias, bishop of Lucknow, called this an barbaric act.

"Unfortunately, this barbaric act is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much violence against women that is not brought to light: because there are no reports, or because their report is not accepted [by the police]. We must protect these daughters of India, create a safe environment for them," he said.

"The caste system is so ingrained in society that too many crimes committed against Dalit women and girls are passed over in silence. This poor teenager was ripped from life after being raped and brutalized by these powerful high caste men. This is the worst human behaviour," the Christian leader added.

Young women, especially those from low caste, are often targeted by some so-called high caste Hindus in Uttar Pradesh.

In early August, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was raped and strangled to death in Maharajganj district. Her tongue was cut off and police found her body in one of the accused sugarcane fields.

In the same district, a 17-year-old girl was raped and killed with a sharp knife. Her body was discovered near her home on August 24.

Again, a 12-year-old girl from Maharajganj district was raped and killed by a man who left her body in the forest on August 28.

Beginning of this month, a three-year-old girl was raped by a group of young men who killed her and left her body in a sugarcane field in Lakhimpur Kheri district.

The list goes on.

Mayawati, a Dalit politician and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh took to social media and tweeted on Tuesday: "The government should provide all possible help to the victim's family and ensure speedy punishment to the culprits by prosecuting them in a fast-track court."

The Hindu caste hierarchy discriminates against Dalits and pushes them to the bottom line. Though there are laws that protect the low caste in the society, Dalits are often victims of discrimination across India.