SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Eight men accused of involvement in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state appeared in court on Monday for the first hearing in a case that sparked nationwide outrage and criticism of the ruling party.
The girl, from a nomadic community that roams the forests of Kashmir, was drugged, held captive in a Hindu temple and sexually assaulted for a week before being strangled and battered to death with a stone in January, police said.
Anger - Crime - Protests - Cities - India
Public anger at the crime led to protests in cities across India over the past few days, with outrage fueled by support for the accused initially shown by state government ministers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The protests have also focused on another rape allegedly involving a BJP lawmaker in crime-ridden Uttar Pradesh, a poor northern state with the country’s biggest population.
Outrage - Parallels - Protests - Gang - Rape
The outrage has drawn parallels with massive protests that followed the gang rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus in 2012, which forced the then Congress-led government to enact tough new rape laws including the death penalty.
Yet India has long been plagued by violence against women and children – reported rapes climbed 60 percent from 2012 to 40,000 in 2016, and many more go unreported, especially in rural areas.
Reports - Torture - Rape - Murder - Child
Reports of torture, rape and murder of another child have emerged from Modi’s western home state of Gujarat.
In that case, the corpse of a girl was found near a cricket ground in the city of Surat a week ago.
Post-mortem - Body - Injury - Marks - Genitalia
The post-mortem showed she had been tortured and sexually assaulted before being strangled. The body had 86 injury marks, including some inflicted to her genitalia with hard, blunt objects, while more minor injuries suggest she had been beaten with a stick or...
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