India: Jharkhand teenager battles for life after being raped and set on fire | News | DW | 07.05.2018
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India: Jharkhand teenager battles for life after being raped and set on fire

It is the second such incident to be reported from the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand in recent days. India has been struggling to deal with a spate of brutal sexual assaults in recent months.

A 17-year-old girl from India's eastern state of Jharkhand is fighting for life after she was raped and set alight.

It is the second such incident to be reported in Jharkhand in less than four days. On Friday, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped and burned to death.

Read more: Opinion: Rape becomes a political tool in India

What we know

  • The victim has suffered 70 percent first-degree burns, according to the local police chief.
  • She has been moved to a hospital in neighboring West Bengal state for treatment, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported.
  • Police have arrested a 19-year-old man who lived close by.
  • They say the suspect, who wanted to marry the victim but she turned him down, poured kerosene on the girl and set her ablaze.

Read moreIndia's rape survivors continue to be degraded by two-finger tests

An alleged rapist being held by Indian police in the case of a 17-year-old girl who was raped and set on fire in Jharkhand.

Police have arrested a 19-year-old man, who lived in the same neighborhood as the victim.

String of violent sexual crimes: The incident is the latest in a string of violent sexual crimes against minors in India — including the rape and murder of an 8-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir — that has sparked widespread outrage and protests across the country. 

Death penalty: Responding to a nationwide outrageover rapes against minors, the government, last month, introduced death penalty for people convicted of raping children. But experts say it's the fear of being punished rather than the type of punishment that is likely to check such crimes. Only one in four rape cases ends in conviction in India.

India's rape problem: India has among the highest number of rapes in the world. Some 40,000 rape cases were reported in the country in 2016 — nearly 110 rapes per day. Experts say that despite a rise in victims reporting rape cases in recent years, most cases still go unreported mainly because victims fear stigma or retribution.

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