Uttar Pradesh: Dalit girl raped and tortured. Bishop of Lucknow: Barbaric act
by Nirmala Carvalho

The 19-year-old girl was cremated overnight; relatives were not allowed to take the body home. The perpetrators are allegedly four high caste men who also strangled her. A long list of violence against Dalit women and girls. Bishop Mathias: "The caste system is so deeply rooted in society that too many crimes committed against Dalit women and girls are passed over in silence".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A 19-year-old Dalit girl died yesterday in a Delhi hospital after 15 days of agony from being raped and tortured by a group of high caste men in Hatras (Uttar Pradesh). The girl's body was cremated at 3 am, without allowing the girl's family to take her body to their home to perform funeral rites.

The bishop of Lucknow, Msgr. Gerald Mathias, bitterly comments: “Unfortunately, this barbaric act is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much violence against women that is not brought to light: because there are no reports, or because their report is not accepted [by the police]. We must protect these daughters of India, create a safe environment for them ".

The girl was attacked on 14 September in Hatras, 200 km from Delhi. She was mowing grass, helping her mother, when she was attacked by a group who raped her in turn. According to police reconstructions, they also tried to strangle her with her scarf (dupatta) and tortured her. The body had multiple fractures.

Four men, all of high caste, were arrested and charged with rape and murder. The girl was hospitalized for two weeks in intensive care. She was transported to Delhi yesterday but died soon after the move.

“The caste system - explains Msgr. Mathias - is so ingrained in society that too many crimes committed against Dalit women and girls are passed over in silence. This poor teenager was ripped from life after being raped and brutalized by these powerful high caste men. This is the worst human behaviour”.

The list of violence against women in Uttar Pradesh is long. At the beginning of September, a group of young people raped and killed a three-year-old girl, leaving her in a sugar cane field in Lakhimpur Kheri.

On August 28, a man raped and killed a 12-year-old girl in Maharajganj, leaving her body in the forest.

On 24 August, the body of a 17-year-old woman was found near her home in the same district of Maharajganj. The police determined that the girl had been raped and killed with a very sharp knife. Ten days earlier, still in the same district, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was raped and then killed. The girl had been strangled and her tongue cut off. Her body was found in a sugar cane field owned by one of the accused. Police arrested four suspects.