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An Indian woman from the Dalit community dies after alleged gang rape

Hathras District Police Superintendent Vikrant Vir said in a statement posted on Twitter that the incident occurred on September 14. The victim was first admitted to a hospital in Uttar Pradesh and later transferred to New Delhi due to the severity of her injuries.

Four men have been arrested and booked for rape and murder and an investigation is underway, according to Hathras police.

All four men were from an upper caste and, according to the statement, were also indicted for crimes against minorities.

In the Indian caste-based hierarchy, the Dalits – who are ranked at the lowest levels and have in the past been described as “untouchable” – suffer severe discrimination. India̵
7;s caste system was officially abolished in 1950, but the 2,000-year-old social hierarchy imposed on people from birth still exists in many aspects of life. The caste system classifies Hindus at birth, defining their place in society, what jobs they can do and who they can marry.
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Rahul Gandhi, a high leader of India’s main opposition party Congress, tweeted that “the government of the ‘class-specific’ country of Uttar Pradesh killed another woman. The government said it was about fake news and left the victim to die. This unfortunate accident, the death of the victim and the insensitivity of the government: none of this is fake news. “

According to human rights organizations, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Dalit women are particularly vulnerable to violence and caste discrimination.
Last month, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was raped and killed in Uttar Pradesh. Last year, two Dalit children were reportedly beaten to death after defecating outdoors. In 2018, a 13-year-old girl from a lower caste was beheaded in the south of the country, presumably by an attacker from an upper caste.
A protest outside Safdarjung hospital on 29 September 2020 in New Delhi, where a 19-year-old woman died two weeks after being gang raped.

Supporters of equal rights for Dalits organized a small demonstration outside the Delhi hospital where the woman was treated on Monday.

Group leader Chandrashekhar Azad tweeted: “The victim’s family and I are protesting outside Safdarjung hospital right now. We will no longer tolerate it. We will get justice.”

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A number of Indian celebrities, including Bollywood actors and professional athletes, have used their social media to call on the government to adopt policies to protect women.

According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, more than 33,000 cases of alleged rape have been reported in the latest available data from 2018, about 91 cases every day. But experts say the real number is likely much higher, due to the shame linked to sexual assault and the social barriers faced by victims that prevent them from reporting the attacks.

Swati Gupta wrote from New Delhi and Ivana Kottasov√° wrote in London.

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