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Unnao, Uttar Pradesh another horror on raped minor, burned babies, house

UncategorizedUnnao, Uttar Pradesh another horror on raped minor, burned babies, house

Teen rape survivor’s baby in critical condition after home ‘burned down by five rapists’ when out on bail after last year’s February rape.

The minor Dalit girl whose home was burned down was raped last year by five men and forced to deliver a baby.  The six-month-old infant born to a teenage rape survivor is battling for his life after a mob comprising those accused of gang-raping the teen burned her family home once they were out on bail, police in India say.

The incident took place at a village in Unnao in India’s Uttar Pradesh state and has affected a family from the Dalit community – historically among the most oppressed in the Hindu caste system.

Four-month-old and 7-month-old infants are battling for their lives in Lucknow hospital. Their skulls are reportedly broken and their condition is critical. They received severe burn injuries after being thrown into a burning house. Their mother is 13 years old and a gang rape victim.

@journo_harshit The #police say that the victim’s uncle Raj Kishor was seen torching the house and has now been arrested.

Two of the five accused of gang-raping the girl, who had recently managed to get out of jail, went to the minor’s home along with the teenager’s uncle on Monday and set it on fire, police officials said. Inside the house were the girl’s six-month-old son and her infant sister – both of whom suffered burn injuries in the attack.

The infants were initially being treated at a district hospital in Kanpur City, about 20km away from Unnao. After their condition worsened, however, doctors referred the two to King George’s Medical University in the state capital Lucknow, about 90km away, on Wednesday night.

The teenager’s child – born prematurely after the gang rape – has suffered severe burns on his stomach, face, and limbs.

“The doctors have asked us to arrange blood for the baby as his condition deteriorated overnight in the ICU,” the survivor’s father told the Media.

“We need to arrange Rs 5,000 to save the child but our house has been burnt down and we do not have a single penny to arrange blood. The situation is very grim,” he said.

“I don’t know how I will save them when they are battling for their life,” he said.

The father says he was also assaulted by an axe last week by one of the rape accused. “I have not recovered from my injuries,” he said. He says his daughter also suffered injuries from the attack.

The rape survivor’s mother had filed a complaint with the police on Monday night in a First Information Report – the first step before police action is taken in India – that said the house was torched by seven men.

The rape survivor’s father alleged that the family had been threatened to withdraw the case or face consequences.

“The threats have continued from the time the case was filed against the accused and there was pressure on us to withdraw the case. They threatened to kill my daughter as well,” he said.

Police officials confirmed they are investigating the role played by the rape survivor’s own uncle in the burning down of their home.

“In the video shared with us, it is clearly visible that the girl’s uncle… started the fire. Upon further investigation, it is found that he is a family member and the minor’s uncle,” said Siddharth, a police superintendent who goes by a single name. On Thursday, the police arrested a total of four accused out of the seven, including the rape survivor’s uncle and grandfather.

A police investigation revealed the teen’s immediate family was battling a land and house dispute with her uncle and grandfather.

The family says the teenager was raped by a group of five men last February, out of which only three were arrested. The girl had delivered her baby prematurely in September.

Rising number of rape cases in Unnao on Dalits after BJP took over Uttar Pradesh

A rising number of rape cases have been reported in Unnao, where the local administration is run by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The city of Unnao, located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, has been the site of several high-profile cases of rape attacks on Dalits in recent years. Dalits are a marginalized community in India, formerly known as “untouchables,” who face discrimination and violence on a daily basis.

One of the most infamous cases in Unnao was the 2017 rape of a 17-year-old Dalit girl by a local politician named Kuldeep Singh Sengar. The victim’s family had initially struggled to file a complaint against Sengar, who was a powerful figure in the area, and it was only after the victim attempted to set herself on fire outside the chief minister’s residence that the case gained national attention. Sengar was eventually convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2019, but the case highlighted the challenges that Dalits face when trying to seek justice in India’s deeply entrenched caste system.

Another case that garnered attention in Unnao was the 2018 rape and murder of an 8-year-old Dalit girl, whose body was found in a forest near her home. The incident sparked protests across the country and led to calls for greater protection for Dalit women and children. Two men were eventually convicted and sentenced to death for the crime in 2020.

These are just two examples of the many cases of rape and sexual violence against Dalits that have been reported in Unnao and throughout India. Despite laws and policies aimed at protecting marginalized communities, including the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, many Dalits continue to face discrimination, violence, and injustice on a regular basis.

The Uttar Pradesh government is being accused of poor law and order in the state with no efforts being made to address the root causes of these issues, including the deeply ingrained caste system. There need to be measures taken to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their caste or background, are able to live with dignity and free from violence and discrimination.

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