A second woman has been gang-raped and killed in India just days after a teenager’s brutal murder shocked the country.
The woman – a member of India’s ‘untouchable’ Dalit community – was allegedly raped by two men on Tuesday and died while being taken to hospital.
The 22-year-old’s death in Balrampur district comes days after the gang-rape and death of a teenager from the same low-caste group at the hands of a group of high-caste men sparked outrage.
Two men have been arrested on charges of gang-rape and murder in relation to the latest attack.
An investigation was under way and the suspects may be tried in a special fast-track court, they added.
Her mother said: ‘A rickshaw-wallah [driver] brought her home. [She] was thrown in front of our house.
‘My child could barely stand or speak,’ reported NDTV.
She told the BBC: ‘They broke my daughter’s leg, they broke her waist. When she arrived, she looked very weak.
‘Our daughter couldn’t speak or get up. When we asked her what had happened, she couldn’t answer.’
The incident took place in Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh state, around 300 miles (500 kilometres) from where the other Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped in mid-September by four upper-caste men.
The 19-year-old, who was left paralysed by her injuries, was rushed to hospital in New Delhi 200 kilometres away but died on Tuesday.
Police have arrested four men in connection with the crime.
Clashes between protesters and police erupted in Hathras district on Wednesday after police cremated the woman’s body.
The victim’s brother said the cremation was carried out against the wishes of her family, who had wanted to perform their own funeral rites. Local officials deny this.
Twenty-five people were arrested in connection with the unrest, according to a police information report. An eye-witness said police had wielded batons during the clashes.
This latest case has caused widespread outrage and protests across India due to the backgrounds of those involved.
The four men arrested were all from a higher caste, her brother said.
The victim and her brother are not being identified due to laws against naming victims of sexual violence.
Orders preventing the gathering of more than five people have been imposed in Hathras, Vikrant Vir, the top police official in the district, said on Thursday.
Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi, leaders of the opposition Congress Party, along with Chandra Shekhar Aazad, a popular Dalit politician who founded the Bhim Army to campaign for the rights of the community, all planned to visit the district on Thursday, according to media reports.
Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, ranks as one of the most unsafe states for women in the country.
Under the emergency laws, police will stop members of political organisations from entering Hathras, Vir said.
The latest assaults come months after four men were hanged for the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi, a case that came to symbolise the nation’s problems with sexual violence.
India is the one of the world’s most dangerous countries for women, with a rape occurring every 15 minutes, according to federal data – figures that rights groups say vastly underestimate the scale of the problem.
India’s 200 million Dalits have long faced discrimination and abuse, and campaigners say attacks have increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
An average of 87 rape cases were reported every day last year, according to the latest data released Tuesday by the National Crime Records Bureau, but large numbers are thought to go unreported.
The bureau reported an increase of more than seven percent in the number of crimes against women in 2019 compared to the previous year.