Indian Woman Gang-Raped and Set on Fire

Sometimes reading the news makes my physically ill, and this story from the BBC was no exception.  The latest in a string of violent crimes against women in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a woman’s family reported that three to five men gang-raped her and then set her on fire.  She was in her home with her two children when the attack happened.  The victim’s brother-in-law filed the complaint against the alleged rapists, who are apparently from an influential family in the village.

“Five persons first tried to strangulate my sister and then raped her,” he said. “Since my sister recognized them, they doused her with kerosene and set her ablaze. When she was nearly dead, they left the spot.”

The woman apparently managed to give a statement to the police, but died soon thereafter.

One of the worst parts of this story is that it doesn’t seem to be abnormal for this area; earlier this year, India’s National Commission for Women explained that Uttar Pradesh is one of the worst places in the country for violent crime against women.  And in the past week alone, there have been two other reported rapes, one where the victim was stabbed in the eye as she fought her attackers off, and another where the victim was murdered afterward.

Clearly, if these allegations are true, there’s a serious women’s rights crisis in this area of India.  At least family members seem to be coming forward to report the attacks, but it’s hard to imagine what life must be like for women there.  Earlier today, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (who, unsurprisingly, has been criticized for not acting quickly enough because she’s a woman – and obviously woman politicians are the only ones who care about women’s rights) announced that she will pursue tougher measures against these atrocities, taking steps to “ensure rape trials are completed within six months and that rape is made a non-bailable offense.”  But here’s to hoping that these aren’t the only reforms she and her government initiate.


Photo from mckaysavage’s Flickr photostream.


Alexandra Pappano
Alexandra P5 years ago

I'm nearly incoherent with RAGE. How can ANY country value their female citizens (including those of "low caste") so little? We must all oppose any government that devalues its own
people, especially its most vulnerable ones: women and children.

Pam W.
Pami W5 years ago

The government of India needs to enact strict laws to promote change for women.

Shanti S.
S S5 years ago


Catherine MEARNS
Catherine Mearns6 years ago

these puny wee men cannot stand the thought that women are strong and like it or not it is we women that have to change the way men think of us. Even in the western world boys and men are treated differently,

I can still recall that when I was 16 and out working a filthy job my brother was given all the hot water to bath as he was a boy, he was allowed to keep most of his wage because he was a boy, he got more to eat because he was a boy. However I was lucky enough to have a dad who saw that I got too, but he never taught me how to fix a car engine , but showed me how to fix a sewing machine.

Funny old world is'nt it, my dad did his best to teach me how to do a lot of things that looked feminine and yes he did say that women were tougher than men , because they had to be to survive.

Just goes to prove that some men understand and accept that women have strength in a different way. It is the pathetic men who fail in life that feel the need to dominate and because they will not bend with the wind they will perish, hopefully roots and all.

Jocelyn Nunes
Jocelyn Nunes6 years ago

More instances of patriarchal oppression and brutal misogyny.I hope these monsters were or are brought to justice.

Ryana R.
Ryana Rogers6 years ago

I'm not sure why they hate womwn so much or to have select abortions do those ass hats men realzie that it does take 2 people make a baby! I hope these idiots get caught have their dicks burned off !

Karen H.
K H6 years ago

Uttar Pradesh is an extremely conservative part of India. The men have this sense of entitlement and do not at all care if their women do all the work, To have a son is like a gift from the gods and the boys are raised as though they are little gods. So the cycle perpetuates itself and the women land up losing in the end. This attitude is prevalent all over India and Southeast Asia--many other places as well. What I can't understand is the self-justification and lack of conscious for horrendous acts such as this brutal murder. By the way, throwing acid and/or kerosene on women for one reason or another seems to be a popular thing to do in India. Horrible!

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

I just commented on another story from that part of the world. In America, southern whites did not see slaves as human. Until men the world over, see women as human, as equal to males, this will go on. What is it with this feeling of entitlement because one is male? I'm sure good men are cringing at this story too.

Janine H.
Janine H7 years ago

This is so terrible. Always when i hear about terrible things it makes med sad, and i cannot understand how someone could do something terrible - hurt, rape or kill a person or animal. When i was a child this also happened to me... and surviving this is more terrible than not (parents and other may think different, but a victim?), living with all this pain... living with guilty feelings... full with hate for the own self
No one can understand, because most people cannot imagine this, cannot imagine how much it change. Some of them think, that this would not be so terrible, because all would make some sexual experiences, and so it would not matter if there were some without own interest or wish. This cruel and superficial society makes me sick.

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Raven Catherine F.

Barbarism is everywhere. As long as men dominate and women don't fight back, it will happen. Look how the war on women gains grounds in the United States--anti-birth control, defund family planning blame rape victims.