India: Grief, fear in village where cousins were raped and hanged

June 2, 2014 | By | Reply More

June 02, – The village of Katra Shahadatganj in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is difficult to get to. The roads are in a poor state. There is hardly ever any power here and few homes have toilets.

hromedia India Grief, fear in village where cousins were raped and hanged intl. news4Days ago it was the scene of a brutal rape and murder. In the late evening on Wednesday two cousins left home to visit a nearby field, which they used as a toilet.

They never returned and by the next morning they were found hanging from a tree in the village. They had been gang-raped.

Relatives say police ridiculed them when they first reported the girls missing after they heard from neighbours that the cousins had been accosted by a group of men.

They claim that caste discrimination is at the heart of this tragedy – the police deny this.

It’s pitch dark as we drive through the villages of India’s most populous state. No street lights line the roads which cross large swaths of farmland; the only flashes of light come from the bolts of lightning which flicker across the stormy night sky.

A powerful dust storm has knocked out power supplies as we head into Uttar Pradesh’s Budaun district, but the headlights of our car illuminate the hazy figures of men and women squatting behind roadside bushes to defecate.

Indian police fired water cannon on Monday at a group of mainly women protesting against the gang-rape and lynching of two girls in the country’s largest state.

Several hundred protesters were demanding an end to violence against women outside the office of the chief minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh, when riot police tried to disperse the crowd by hosing them, footage broadcast on Indian television showed.

The protests came amid a growing uproar over last week’s killings in Uttar Pradesh, with the United Nations saying violence against women should be regarded as a matter of basic human rights.

“There should be justice for the families of the two teenaged girls and for all the women and girls from lower caste communities who are targeted and raped in rural India,” said Lise Grande, the UN’s resident coordinator for India.

“Violence against women is not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue,” Grande added in a statement.

India brought in tougher rape laws last year after the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi but they have failed to stem the tide of sex attacks across the country.

Press journalist for HRO media – Saurav Nag reports.

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Category: International

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