The unidentified woman is said to be in critical condition with burns to 90 percent of her body.
A 23-year-old Indian woman is fighting for her life after being set on fire while on her way to testify against her alleged rapists. The unidentified woman was reportedly heading to the court for her rape trial on Thursday when she was attacked by a group of men. The currently hospitalized victim informed the police that the alleged rapists, their respective fathers, and a nephew were involved in the attack. This is the latest in a long line of horrifying cases of sexual violence against women plaguing the nation at the moment.
This is the front page headline across the country today.— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) December 6, 2019
There is no greater evidence that we have failed the women of India.
The police work for the rapist and not the survivor.
Fixing this should be our national priority today.
Shame on us. #Unnao pic.twitter.com/o4GkaqIZl6
According to CNN, local senior police official Gaurav Kumar Tripathi revealed that the victim told police officials that the attack occurred on the way to the railway station in Unnao, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. As for the woman, Dr. Pradeep Tiwari of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital in Lucknow said that she's in critical condition with 90 percent burns to her body. Speaking to The Times Of India, Dr. Ashutosh Dubey, medical superintendent of the hospital, said, "She has 90 percent burn injuries and we are taking utmost care. A team of doctors is observing her."
"Our doctors are on the job. It appears she was set afire after the five men, who have been arrested, allegedly sprinkled an inflammable substance on her," he added. According to the publication, the attackers took the woman to a secluded spot and doused her with kerosene before setting her ablaze. Panic-stricken villagers discovered the woman in flames and alerted the police who took her to the hospital.
This is no country for women. This truly isnt. Doesn’t matter whether you are a working woman in a city like Hyderabad or a girl in Unnao, the state cannot and will not keep you secure. https://t.co/RChiScrw2L— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) December 5, 2019
As per a report by NPR, the unidentified woman is said to have been raped in December last year in the Unnao district. Police documents about the alleged rape indicate that the woman reported the crime in March, following which one of the accused was apprehended. While the other accused rapist was on the run, the one apprehended was also able to get out on bail. Although official charges have not been filed for Thursday's attack, the five men involved in the attack were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and criminal intimidation.
Unnao: India woman set on fire on her way to rape case hearing https://t.co/ORN9r5nKGh— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 5, 2019
The horrifying incident occurred just a day after the chairwoman of the Delhi Commission for Women, Swati Maliwal, criticized holes in the legal system that allowed dangerous perpetrators out on bail. "There are so many times that rapes have happened, and these rapes have happened by people who were already convicted of rape or who were already involved in a rape case and were out on bail. How do you ensure systems till the time, how do you ensure detriments until the time. There are no systems," she said.
Uttar Pradesh: Rape survivor set on fire by her out-on-bail rapists in Unnao, victim suffers 90% burnhttps://t.co/4qZrn1KljE— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) December 5, 2019
Maliwal made the statements following the gang rape and murder of a 27-year-old woman in the city of Hyderabad last week, which sparked nationwide outcry at the recurring sexual violence against women in the country. Despite India being crippled by this horrifying epidemic, women's rights activists say authorities consider such crimes as more of a social and cultural issue rather than a concern for law enforcement. The country's existing laws have long been criticized for failing to ensure the safety of the nation's women.