The death of a 24-year-old Indian woman who fired last week after alleging police and judicial harassment at the request of MP accused of rape was an Indian woman.
Female and male friends sprinkled gasoline on themselves and set them on fire after a Facebook live on August 16th. They were severely burned and taken to the hospital. The man died on Saturday. The woman succumbed to Tuesday night.
The duo has moved from northern Uttar Pradesh to the capital, Delhi. Their desperate actions outside the Supreme Court of India to draw attention to their plight surprised the country.
The woman accused Atul Rai, a member of the local Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), for raping her at her home in Varanasi and filed a police complaint against him in May 2019.
Lai, who denied the charges, was arrested a month later and imprisoned for the past two years.
Last November, his brother filed a police complaint accusing the woman of counterfeiting. She called the accusation “falsity,” but earlier this month the court issued a non-bail arrest warrant to her.
In a live Facebook video recording, a young woman can be seen accusing Congressmen of using their influence to harass them.
She and her friends accused them of colluding with Mr. Lai and even nominated several police officers and judges.
“We have arrived at the destination they wanted. They have worked for the past year and a half to drive us to this point,” she says.
“The authorities have forced us to die since November 2020. We want the citizens of Uttar Pradesh and everyone in the country to hear this,” her friend says.
“The steps we’re trying to take are painful and scary. We’re a little scared, but this fear is pointless,” he adds, minutes before they self-immolate.
State officials said they had suspended two police officers and were investigating the case.
Watching the video is hard. Their despair can be painful, with her voice choppy and choking.
Rape and sex crimes have been in the limelight in India since December 2012, when a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped by six men on a Delhi bus. She died of an injury a few days later.
The incident led to global anger, forcing India to introduce strict new legislation to deal with crimes of sexual nature. Five men were sentenced to death Four of them were executed last year.
However, despite increased surveillance, the number of sex crimes against women is not small. In 2018, police recorded 33,977 rape cases in India. This is the average of rape every 15 minutes. Activists say the actual numbers are much higher, as many haven’t even been reported.
Activists say that the crude implementation of the law means that many victims cannot find justice, especially if the accused is an influential man with financial or political power.
And it’s not as prominent as Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s most underdeveloped states, which is more populous than Brazil.
The horrific self-immolation by a 24-year-old woman is the first time such a drastic step had to be taken in order for a state woman who raped an influential man to be taken seriously by the authorities. is not.
In 2018, another woman attempted to fire after police took no action in response to a rape complaint against Kuldeep Sengar, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
A few months after her complaint, Senger remained at the BJP and continued to exert immeasurable influence in the region. She claimed that police had colluded with him and arrested her father, who subsequently died in custody.
Her case was moved from Uttar Pradesh only after she tried to light it in 2019. Delhi court found former lawmaker guilty He was sentenced to imprisonment.
In another case The woman got on fire While she was in the process of witnessing to her alleged rapist. She suffered 90% burns and died in the hospital three days later.
Last year, state officials were also accused of responding to allegations of mass rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit (previously untouched) woman by four senior caste men.
Her story caused worldwide anger after her family complained that authorities had forcibly cremated her body without their consent.
Activists say that if India is serious about curbing sexual violence, the perpetrators, no matter how powerful, must be punished.
Additional report by Samiratmaj Mishra, BBC Hindi