India continues to experience an epidemic of rape — and a continued alleged passivity of the police in dealing with rapes. The latest case occurred in Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s home district Etawah where a 20-year-od college student was allegedly gang raped and then lit on fire by her rapists. The men came from a wealthy area of the district and the police refused to register the charges according to her family.
The victim was burned over 80 per cent over her body. Her family said that she had gone for morning ablution when Farman Ahmed, neighbor who wanted to marry her, pulled her inside his house. The family says that the marriage was not arranged because Ahmed’s family demanded a dowry. Ahmed and three friends – Mohammad Mehmood, Mohammad Shakeel and Mohammad Sabara – are accused of taking turns raping the girl and later then threatened her with dire consequences if she told her family. She says that they lit her on fire after she said she would go to the police. Neighbors saw her running from the home in flames.
The men insist that she lit herself on fire after sprinkling Ahmed with kerosene to force him to marry her. They said that when he tried to grab the match, she ignited herself.
Critics insist that the police covered up the rape and burning out of concern for the feelings of the that the ruling Samajwadi Party’s Muslim agenda. They took the account of the men and refused all charges..
In the meantime, Ahmed and his family fled. There is no report of actions taken against the police in the matter.