Church and political leaders in India have condemned the gang rape and murder of a Dalit woman in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The 19-year-old died in national capital Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on Sept. 29 after she was raped in Hathras on Sept. 14. She was taken to Safdarjung on Sept. 28 from Aligarh Muslim University Medical College.
“There are no words that can describe this inhuman and barbaric act. We condemn the heinous crime committed on the poor Dalit girl and destroying her family. It’s a very unfortunate and sad thing to happen in a democratic country where a crime was committed weeks ago but the administration is still in the dark,” Bishop Gerald John Mathias of Lucknow told.
“Crimes and atrocities against Dalits and the downtrodden are nothing new in this part of the country. You take any newspaper or scan a television channel you can read about their plight, the injustice done towards Dalits.
“The main reason behind the rape cases in the state is the mentality of the people here who think of women as objects and treat women as second-class citizens. Unless that mentality changes, we will hear about crimes like these every other day.” The bishop, who is based in the state capital of Uttar Pradesh, said people have no fear of the law and don’t hesitate to take the law into their hands, which is very dangerous for civil society.
According to media reports, four upper-caste men attacked the Dalit woman in Hathras. She suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and a deep gash on her tongue.
Based on the complaint filed by her parents, four men have been arrested and charged with gang rape and attempted murder.
Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash, a human rights activist, told that “the brutal gang rape and the subsequent murder of the Dalit woman in Hathras should make us all hang our heads in shame. This is a heinous crime which we condemn in no uncertain terms.”