A 17-year-old girl who was raped and then set on fire after reportedly spurning a man’s marriage proposal is in critical condition at a hospital in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. The incident is the second such case to occur in the region in recent days — on Sunday, another teenage girl died from her injuries in Jharkhand after she too was raped and burned alive. Police have said that the two rape and murder attempts do not appear to be related.
“The accused told us that he wanted to marry the victim but she wasn’t ready,” said police officer Shailendra Barnwal in comments made to the BBC about the most recent attack. Barnwal added that the suspect, who lived nearby the girl’s family’s home, broke into the house and raped her before lighting her on fire. Hearing the girl’s screams, neighbors ran to the house and rushed her to the hospital, where she is reportedly undergoing treatment after suffering burns to 95 percent of her body.
The two attacks in Jharkhand come as the country faces a reckoning over its issues with sexual violence. Just last month, an 8-year-old Muslim girl was reportedly kidnapped and taken to a Hindu temple where she was repeatedly drugged and raped before being brutally murdered. In the wake of protests, the Indian government has approved an ordinance to allow courts to proscribe the death penalty for those found guilty of raping children age 12 and below.
Read the full story at BBC News.