Indian Girl, Gang-Raped Twice, Set Afire, Dies

Six men charged with murder
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2014 9:55 AM CST
Indian Girl, Gang-Raped Twice, Set Afire, Dies
Activists of Indian National Congress block traffic during a protest against a gang-rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl.   (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

A 16-year-old Indian girl who was allegedly gang-raped on two consecutive nights in October died Tuesday after suffering burns on more than 65% of her body—and after telling police that her alleged rapists were the ones who set her ablaze on Dec. 23. Though she identified two of her accused rapists on her death bed as having set her on fire, authorities allegedly tried to conceal the girl's statement, treating her burns as a suicide attempt, the Hindustan Times reports. "The police sat over her dying statement and did not book the accused for murder," the girl's father said; six men now face murder charges, USA Today notes. Further, an autopsy determined the girl was pregnant; DNA testing is under way to determine if one of the alleged attackers impregnated her.

The first arrests in the case—eerily similar to this one—came only Wednesday. The girl had been returning home from reporting the first rape to police last fall when the second allegedly occurred. "We strongly believe that if your government had acted against the criminals ... the subsequent horrific events would have been prevented and the young woman's life could have been saved," activists wrote in a letter to the state's chief minister, per the AFP, as hundreds gathered in protest and held candlelight vigils in New Delhi and Kolkata, 15 miles from the girl's home in Madhyagram, yesterday. (More gang rape stories.)

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