A 16-YEAR-OLD girl was gang-raped when she took her younger brother to use a public toilet, then turned away by police when she tried to report the sick attack, it is alleged.
The teenager was attacked by three men – including a former head of her village in India – when she took her little brother, 6, to use a local public toilet.
The community leader is now on the run, said officials, while the other two alleged attackers have been arrested for gang rape, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation.
The trio of attackers – a 50-year-old former village head, and two men aged 22 and 18 – allegedly threatened to kill the terrified girl if she reported the attack in the village of Aliganj in Uttar Pradesh, around 140 miles south east of Delhi.
Undeterred by the threats to her life, the girl told her family, who tried to report the gang rape to police after it happened on Monday.
'TURNED AWAY' BY POLICE
The family allege they were turned away by police for two days, before complaining to the human rights organisation the Bhim Army, which raised the girl’s treatment with a local district magistrate.
When local media asked police about the delay, Aliganj police station house officer Pankaj Kumar Mishra claimed they had not received a complaint, reported Times of India.
“We received the complaint on Wednesday and registered a case against the three men under punishment for gang rape, punishment for wrongful confinement, punishment for voluntarily causing hurt, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, punishment for criminal intimidation, and the SC/ST Act,” he said.
The SC/ST Act – also known as the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – is supposed to prevent exploitation and sexual violence against people from lower social castes in India.
The alleged gang rape is the latest in a wave of attacks on young girls from India’s Dalit community – formerly known as ‘untouchables’ – who are at the bottom of the country’s strict caste hierarchy.
The group has traditionally been physically and socially excluded from mainstream society, and faced discrimination in all parts of their life.
In India, it is not possible to move between different ‘castes’.
WAVE OF ATTACKS
In September, protests erupted after a 20-year-old Dalit woman died from her injuries from being gang-raped by four upper caste men while she was out working in the fields.
Just two days after her death, a 22-year-old woman from the same caste was allegedly raped, tortured and murdered by two men on her way home from work.
In September, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was raped and killed in Uttar Pradesh.
Rape and sexual violence has been under the spotlight in India since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a young woman in the capital Delhi, which prompted thousands demanding stricter laws.
Prison sentences for rapists were doubled to 20 years as well as well as criminalising voyeurism, stalking and trafficking of women.
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