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India's Rape Cases Continue to Shock

Latest incidents involve a coronavirus patient and an octogenarian
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2020 10:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – Women's rights campaigners are at the end of their wits following two shocking rape cases in India, just the latest to make headlines since a 2012 gang rape on a moving bus triggered an uproar over sexual violence in the country. In the first, a 19-year-old coronavirus patient was being taken to a hospital on Saturday when her ambulance driver pulled over and raped her, reports the Indian Express. The driver, who was charged with attempted murder last year, was arrested after dropping the woman at the hospital. She had reportedly recorded her attacker apologizing and asking that she not tell anyone what had happened. The second case involves an 86-year-old grandmother. She was waiting for the milkman outside her Delhi home on Monday when another man arrived, saying her milkman wasn't coming.

He directed the grandmother to a farm where she could buy milk, then "assaulted her mercilessly," Swati Maliwal, head of the Delhi Commission for Women, tells the BBC. "She told him that she was like his grandmother. But he ignored her pleas." The man was arrested after locals heard the woman's cries. She was "bleeding profusely and in extreme trauma," Maliwal tells the Hindustan Times. She's calling for the case to be fast-tracked, with a death penalty delivered within six months. Since 2012, India has instituted new rape laws, allowing for the death penalty in certain cases. But activist Yogita Bhayana tells the BBC that no government "is serious about tackling gender violence," so "the situation hasn't changed." There were 33,977 rapes reported in India in 2018, which works out to one every 15 minutes. (Read more India stories.)

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