'Lawlessness' as Woman Is Set on Fire in Another Rape Case

23-year-old in India was attacked by men she accused of sexually assaulting her, police say
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2019 11:01 AM CST
Cops: Woman Set on Fire on Way to Rape Hearing
Indian police officers inspect the site where they found the burned body of a 27-year-old veterinary doctor who they say was raped and killed on the outskirts of Hyderabad, India, on Nov. 29, 2019.   (AP Photo)

An Indian woman who accused two men of rape was set on fire—allegedly by those same men—on her way to a court hearing in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. The 23-year-old, who suffered burns on up to 90% of her body, is now "fighting for her life," per the BBC. Police have detained five men suspected in the crime, including the two men the woman accused of rape in March. They allegedly assaulted the woman in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh as she headed to a train station, then dragged her to a field, doused her in gas, and set her on fire. This comes after the charred bodies of two gang-rape victims were found in India over the last week. A teen victim was discovered in Bihar state, while a veterinarian in her mid-20s was found in the southern city of Hyderabad, per the Guardian.

Women across the country are speaking out, saying there's been little change in society since widespread coverage of the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi. Per the BBC, "nearly 100 rapes are reported in India every single day," while more go unreported. Activists argue the onus is on women, who've been advised not to use public transportation at certain times and not to venture outside late at night. In a tweet, Nationalist Congress MP Supriya Sule describes a "complete state of lawlessness" in Uttar Pradesh. "If the culprits were not shielded and [were] prosecuted on time this wouldn't have happened," she writes. India Today identifies the accused rapists as Shubham Trivedi and Shivam Trivedi. Per the Guardian, one was out on bail, the other on the run from police. (More India stories.)

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