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Indian woman gangraped, set on fire by abusers - report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 16 Jan 2012 14:49 GMT
Author: Ariana Wardak
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By Ariana Wardak

NEW DELHI (TrustLaw) - A 24-year-old woman in northern India is recovering from serious burn injuries after she was gangraped and then set ablaze by her abusers when she threatened to inform the police, local news channel NDTV reported on Monday.

According to the report, the young woman was walking to the market on Sunday when she was abducted by four men in the Fatehpur district of India's Uttar Pradesh state.

The men took her to a house and raped her overnight. When she threatened to tell the police, they poured kerosene over her and set her alight before escaping.

"They kept me there all night. Then in the morning at 5 a.m., they set me on fire because I was going to expose the truth," the victim, whose face was blurred by the channel to maintain anonymity, was quoted as saying.

The woman is currently in a critical condition in the hospital, said the report, adding that she had sustained seventy-five percent burns.

The victim’s brother has filed a complaint with local police, who said they had so far arrested one of the four men.

In conservative and largely patriarchal India, women face a barrage of threats ranging from forced marriage and dowry murders to human trafficking, domestic violence, "honor killings" and abduction as well as rape and sexual harassment.

Rape cases in India increased by 3.6 percent to 22,172 in 2010 from 21,397 cases the previous year, according to latest figures from the National Crime Records Bureau.

But gender rights activists say the numbers are grossly under-reported due to the shame and stigma associated with rape in the region.

(Editing by Nita Bhalla)

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