We have been following the growing protests over rapes in India this month. This includes a brutal gang rape on a city bus and an alleged rape of a victim by police officers. Now, a 17-year-old Indian girl who was gang-raped has committed suicide after she claimed that police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers.
One police officer has been fired and another suspended over their conduct in the case. The assault occurred during the festival of Diwali on November 13 in the Patiala region in the Punjab. Police would not open a formal inquiry and one of the officers tried to convince her to withdraw the case. No one was arrested before her suicide. She killed herself by swallowing poison.
Her sister told Indian television that the teenager was urged to either accept a cash settlement or marry one of her attackers.
We have unfortunately seen such offers in the past where rape victims were deemed as being “made whole” if their rapists agree to marry them. The disgraceful record of rape prosecutions in India has become a global cause. The most promising development has been large protests over this record and an examination of the cultural influences in this criminal pattern.