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Fury in India over new rape-murder case

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Protesters hold placards during a demonstration calling for justice following the recent rape and murder case of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad, in New Delhi on November 30, 2019. – Protests erupted in India on November 30 a day after the charred body of a veterinary doctor was found in Hyderabad city in the southern Indian state of Telangana. The 27-year-old vet was gang-raped before she was murdered, police officials said on November 29. (Photo by STR / AFP) / “The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by STR has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [27-year-old] instead of [26-year-old]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.”

Hundreds of people on Saturday laid siege to a police station where four men are being held over the latest gruesome rape-murder to shock India.

Baton-wielding police pushed back crowds from the building in the southern city of Hyderabad where they said the 27-year-old veterinary doctor was gang-raped, killed and then her body burned.

While the suspects were quickly detained, the killing sparked new outrage in a country that has been in the international spotlight over its handling of sex assaults since the brutal gang-rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in 2012.

“How anyone could subject another human being to such terrible, unprovoked violence is beyond imagination,” said former opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi on Twitter.

Police had to bring in reinforcements to bolster security around the Hyderabad police station. The suspects were to appear before a magistrate for what was expected to be the start of “fast-track” proceedings later Saturday.

But police were also criticised as protests spread to other cities.

Ashes discovered
A woman who tried to stage a one-person demonstration outside the Indian parliament in New Delhi said she was beaten by police after refusing to go home.

Anu Dubey had sat outside the assembly carrying a sign questioning why she could not “feel safe” in her own country.

“The only purpose of this protest is to ensure that I am not burned to death tomorrow,” she told reporters later, fighting back tears.

“That woman died, other girls have also died. Every 20 minutes, there is a rape in India. I don’t want to die. And I can’t be a spectator to any more rape cases. I’m tired of seeing such cases over and over again,” she said.

According to government figures, more than 32,000 rape cases were reported in 2017, however, experts say that the crime is vastly unreported.

Other cases reported Saturday included a 16-year-old girl who died in a Delhi hospital 10-days after being allegedly raped by a neighbour and then set ablaze.

Police said the 27-year-old Hyderabad vet, who cannot be named, was abducted on Wednesday night after she left her scooter near an expressway toll booth.

The four men are alleged to have deflated a tyre whilst she was away and offered to help when she returned to collect it.

The victim called her younger sister to say she was stranded and that a group of men had the offer to fix her scooter.

The woman said she was “afraid”, according to her sister’s testimony to police. The sister called back later but the victim’s phone was switched off.

Police said the ashes of the woman’s body were found on Thursday morning. The body had been wrapped in a blanket and doused with kerosene.

The killing has set off a firestorm of social media comment, many calling for a tough reaction.

“The culprits must be given severest punishment,” commented Rajasthan state’s chief minister Ashok Gehlot, one of tens of thousands to post Twitter comments.

Women’s groups turned against a minister in Telegana state, which includes Hyderabad, who said the dead woman could have been saved if she had called the police first instead of her sister.

“Is there no shame,” hit back Swati Maliwal, head of the Delhi Women’s Commission. “Now the blame is being put on the dead victim.”


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