Gang Rape, a 100 Sit-up Punishment—Then Murder

Dhanu Singh Bhuiyan accused of setting victim on fire
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2018 9:35 AM CDT
In this Monday, April 16, 2018 file photo, a woman holds a candle and placard seeking an end to sexual violence against women, which has been on the rise in the country, during a protest in Bangalore,...   (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi, File)

(Newser) – Indian police arrested 15 people Saturday in the horrific case of a teenage girl who was allegedly gang-raped and set on fire, the New York Times reports. Authorities say several men attacked the girl Thursday, but things only got worse the next day when village leaders gathered to punish alleged gang leader Dhanu Singh Bhuiyan. Enraged by his imposed punishment—100 sit-ups and a fine of roughly $750—Bhuiyan stormed into the girl's house in the village of Chatra, attacked her parents, and fatally set the girl on fire, the Times of India reports. Bhuiyan fled through a window but was apprehended Saturday, as were members of his family and at least two village leaders, per the Indian Express.

Authorities in the state of Jharkhand say Bhuiyan knew the girl and lured her away from a wedding Thursday. "Bhuiyan had developed a friendship with the victim," says a police officer. "When the [village council] was called, the accused and the victim accepted that they liked each other." But the imposed fine sparked an argument between the families and led to Bhuiyan's alleged murder of the girl, who was 16 or 18 years old depending on the report. Critics are calling this another example of rape culture in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior officials failed to speak out last month after an 8-year-old girl was killed. Just last week, Zee News India reports, a group of men sparked attention on social media by circulating a video of them molesting a teenage girl.

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