Sunday, July 8, 2018

Brother of Indian ruling party politician among five charged over death of rape victim's father

Five people, including the brother of a politician from India’s ruling party, have been charged in relation to the death of the father of a teenage rape victim.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) representative for Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by police in April in connection with the rape of the teenager.
The legislator denies the claims, calling them politically motivated, but the case made national headlines in April after the victim tried to kill herself in front of the local chief minister’s home.
Now, five men including his brother Atul Singh Sengar, have been accused of brutally attacking the rape victim's father in an assault that led to his death.

Indian women protest against the rape of an eight year old in in New Delhi

Indian women protest against the rape of an eight year old in in New Delhi ( Chandan Khanna/Getty Images )
The man died in April while in the custody of police in northern Uttar Pradesh state, ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP.
According to the victim’s wife, her husband had come down from Delhi to attend court in relation to his daughter’s rape case.
Atul Singh Sengar and his accomplices are alleged to have attacked the man in front of their house, according to The Hindu.
A post mortem concluded that the rape victim’s father had died due to “shock and septicemia” caused by “peritonitis and ascending colon perforation.”
More than 100 rapes are reported in India every day, but strong political overtones have crept into this particular case.
Rapes of an eight-year-old girl and the teenager in two states ruled by Mr Modi's party led to public protests prompting his federal government to introduce in April the death penalty for rape of girls under 12 and increase the minimum punishment for those whose victims were under 16.
Every day, newspapers carry fresh stories of sexual violence against women, including recent reports of girls being set on fire after being raped.
Registered cases of sexual violence have been rising despite the national outrage that followed the fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012.
There were 40,000 rapes reported in India in 2016 and the victims were children in 40 percent of those cases. Authorities think it is likely that many more cases are taking place but go unreported.
Human Rights Watch concluded in a recent report that rape survivors in India still face significant barriers to obtaining justice.
The international NGO concluded that women who report assaults are often harassed by local police forces and pressured to stay silent and withdraw their complaints.
Additional reporting by Reuters.

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