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Balrampur: Anger grows after new India 'gang rape' death

Another Dalit (formerly untouchable) woman, aged 22, has died in India after she was allegedly gang raped.

The news comes just as India reels from the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died on Tuesday, after she was allegedly gang raped by four upper-caste men.

Both attacks took place in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

The news of a second Dalit woman's death on the same day has sparked widespread anger and outrage in India.

 

Police have registered complaints of rape and murder and arrested two men in connection with the latest case, which took place in Balrampur district.

The latest incident occurred some 500km (310 miles) away from Hathras district, where the earlier attack happened.

The first victim was grievously injured and died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday after fighting for her life for two weeks.

The second victim also died on Tuesday - but national media picked up the news on Thursday, after heavy backlash on social media over sexual assault and caste violence in India.

Local journalist Saurabh Mishra told the BBC that there was heavy police presence in Balrampur. "While officials are not confirming whether the victim was raped, they have also not denied the family's allegation," he added.

Her parents started to panic when she did not arrive home at her usual time on Tuesday evening.

The victim's mother told Mr Mishra that her daughter had gone to a nearby school to apply for admission on Tuesday morning. When she was returning home, a group of three or four men stopped her and forced her into their vehicle.

The mother alleges that they drugged her before raping her.

"They broke my daughter's leg, they broke her waist," she said, adding that the men put her in a rickshaw after and sent her home.

"When she arrived, she looked very weak. Our daughter couldn't speak or get up. When we asked her what had happened, she couldn't answer," she added.

Ten minutes later, the victim complained of a "burning sensation" in her stomach, prompting the family to rush her to a local hospital.

"But since her condition was very serious, the doctor asked us to take her to a larger hospital in the city - but she died on the way there," the mother added.

The news has spurred furious reactions on social media.

The state's former chief minister, who sits in opposition now, hit out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

"After Hathras, another daughter has been gang raped and brutalised in Balrampur," Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, adding that the government should act quickly in this incident.

Other opposition leaders and Indians have also strongly decried the attack on social media.

On Wednesday, outrage over the Hathras attack grew as the family accused police officials of cremating her body without their permission.

Activists called on police to explain why they took the "inhumane decision", while protests broke out in Hathras and other cities, including the capital, Delhi.

A senior district administration official, however, denied the allegation, saying the family's consent was taken.

Officials have now imposed Section 144, which means no more than four people will be able to gather - a measure often used to contain protests.

Senior leaders of the opposition Congress Party, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, will go to Hathras to visit the victim's family later on Thursday, local media reported.

Dalits are some of India's most downtrodden citizens because of an unforgiving Hindu caste hierarchy that condemns them to the bottom of the ladder.

Despite laws that protect them, discrimination remains a daily reality for the Dalit population, thought to number around 200 million.

Rape and sexual violence have been under the spotlight in India since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi, which led to huge protests and changes to the country's rape laws.

But there has been no sign of crimes against women and girls abating.

Source: BBC

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