24 Year Old Rape Victim In India Lights Herself On Fire After Alleging She Was Harassed By Police
A 24 year old Indian woman who alleged she was harassed by police “at the behest of an MP she had accused of rape” died this week after setting herself on fire.
The incident has caught the eye of the country, renewing criticism of how women are treated in India, according to a BBC report.
The woman did a Facebook live event on August 16 before her and a male friend poured gas on themselves and lit themselves on fire. They were both taken to the hospital with severe burns and both eventually died.
They had both traveled from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh to the capital, Delhi, to try and raise attention to their cause.
The woman had formerly accused an MP from the regional Bahujan Samaj Party of raping her at her home. She filed a police report against him in May 2019 and he denied the accusation. He was subsequently arrested, however, and has been in jail for the past two years.
The MP’s brother then struck back, filing a police report accusing the woman of fabricating the report. The report notes that “shoddy implementation of laws, especially in cases where the accused are influential men with money or political power, mean many victims fail to find justice.”
In her livestream, she accused the MP of using his influence to harass her for speaking out.
She said in the video: “We have reached the destination they wanted us at. They made efforts for the past year and a half to push us to this point.”
Her friend adds: “The authorities have been forcing us since November 2020 to die. We want all of you, the citizens of Uttar Pradesh and the country, to hear this. The step we are going to take is painful and frightening. We are also a little scared, but this fear is meaningless.”
The BBC notes that at times on the video “her voice breaks or he chokes and their desperation is heartbreaking”.
Thu, 08/26/2021 – 20:05