A 17-year-old Indian girl was fighting for her life Monday after being raped, doused in kerosene and set alight, the second such case to shake the country this week as it reels from a series of brutal sexual assaults.
The teenager was attacked on Friday — the same day a 16-year-old was raped and burned to death, also in the eastern state of Jharkhand.
The two incidents have shone a spotlight on the treatment of rape in India, where authorities are facing renewed pressure to act on sexual crimes after the recent gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl.
The cases are some of the most high-profile since the 2012 rape and murder of a student on a New Delhi bus that triggered mass protests. “The girl has suffered 70 percent first-degree burns. There is a chance that she will survive,” Shailendra Barnwal, police superintendent of Pakur district, told AFP.
The victim has been moved to a private hospital with specialist facilities for “proper treatment and recovery”, he said. Police have arrested a 19-year-old man who lives in the same neighbourhood as the victim. “He poured kerosene on the girl and set her on fire,” Barnwal said.
Fifteen people have been detained in the case of the 16-year-old, who was torched to death in the state’s Chatra district.
The main suspect in that case is said to have been angered by a village council punishment of 100 situps and a $750 fine for raping the girl. He attacked her parents before setting their house on fire with the teenager inside.