India teen fights for life after being raped, set on fire: police

Suspect arrested after 16-year-old was sexually assaulted and burned, in second such case in eastern state of Jharkhand.

    More than 40,000 rape cases are reported in India every year [Aijaz Rahi/AP]
    More than 40,000 rape cases are reported in India every year [Aijaz Rahi/AP]

    An Indian girl is battling for her life after allegedly being raped and set ablaze in the eastern state of Jharkhand, police said, days after another teenager was burned to death in the same state. 

    The 16-year-old suffered first-degree burns to 70 percent of her body after being set on fire in a village in the Pakur district of Jharkhand on Friday, police said. 

    She is being treated at a hospital in Berhampur, West Bengal, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday. 

    District police have arrested a 19-year-old suspect, the Times said.

    This is the second such attack on a minor in the eastern state in the past week. 

    The murder in Chatra district of another 16-year-old girl, who was burned alive in her home on Friday, led to the arrests of at least 15 people.

    According to her family members, the eighth-grade student was abducted from her cousin's home and gang raped on Thursday night.

    The main suspect in her murder was allegedly angered by a village council decision that he should do 100 sit-ups and pay a fine of Rs 50,000 ($750) for raping the girl the night before.

    He also attacked the girl's parents and set their home on fire with the teenager inside. 

    A special investigation team is probing that case, according to a senior police officer.

    More than 40,000 rape cases are reported in India every year.

    The rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim nomad girl, Asifa, in the Kathua district of Indian-administered Kashmir last month sparked outrage and protests across the country. 

    New police figures indicate that more than five women are raped every day in the Indian capital, New Delhi, this year.

    As many as 578 rape cases were reported up to April 15, compared with 563 in 2017 during the same period, police said.

    Are rape cases being politicised in India?

    Inside Story

    Are rape cases being politicised in India?

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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