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A young woman who was allegedly gang raped and tortured after being dragged from a field has died from injuries.
The 19-year-old victim was attacked on September 14 in the district of Hathras the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Four men allegedly took her by the scarf before raping and trying to strangle her.
Her family found her naked, bleeding and paralysed, The Guardian reports.
The victim’s spinal cord was damaged and her tongue, which apparently got caught between her teeth, was split.
She was tragically pronounced dead at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital this morning, September 29.
Police have arrested four men in connection with the crime.
Her brother told the Times of India: “We want justice for her. The accused should not be spared. They must be hanged.”
The victim was a Dalit, from the lowest Indian caste formerly known as the untouchables.
There are approximately 166.6 million Dalits in India, who continue to face widespread oppression and atrocities.
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The woman’s family claim their caste status meant the police initially did not take the case seriously.
However, officials have denied their response was slow.
According to National Crime Records Bureau data released in 2016, four Dalit women are raped in India every day.
The woman’s home state, which is governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ranks as the most unsafe state for women in the country.
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Last December, a 23-year-old Dalit woman was set ablaze by a gang of men as she made her way to a court in Uttar Pradesh to press rape charges.
One woman reported a rape every 15 minutes on average in India in 2018, according to the latest government data released in January.
After the latest tragedy, around 300 protesters from the Bhim Army, a party championing the rights of Dalits, entered the hospital building and shouted slogans near the mortuary where the woman’s body was kept.
District authorities in Hathras said in a statement: “We will take the matter to fast-track court for the faster investigation and collection of evidence.”
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