Reports from major Indian media outlets suggest the world’s largest democracy is becoming a hell on earth for women.
The narrative of Jyoti Singh Pandey, gang raped and brutally murdered by six men in New Delhi last month, is only the tip of the iceberg.
The rape data center in India has said that one woman is raped every 20 minutes. The female birth rate is declining because of pressure to abort female fetuses, the Centre for Social Research said.
In addition to nationwide protests, women are reacting by taking self-defense courses, applying for gun permits or refusing jobs in urban areas like New Delhi that are considered dangerous.
Reports Monday from the Times of India and Press Trust of India, describe a woman trying to flee from a jam-packed train as it slowed nearing the Kahalgaon station.
“A group of inebriated people then dragged her to a nearby mango orchard and sexually assaulted her. Liquor bottles were found at the spot,” Times of India quoted a police official as saying. She was then found hanging from a tree, the victim of murder or suicide.
The 32-year-old victim was riding the Brahmaputra Mail train to New Delhi.
The Press Trust reported a total of eight employees of a government-run residential school for tribal girls had been arrested for rape in Jhaliyamari village in the Kanker district. Two of the eight were teachers.
The failure of the justice system is starkly revealed in the case of a man named Sunil, “alias Pappu Suresh Salve,” an apparent serial rapist in the Nashik district.
Police said the 32-year-old man was convicted of rape and murder last year of a 9-year-old girl and sentenced to death but a higher court threw out his conviction. On Friday, police said, the man was arrested for the rape and murder of a second 9-year-old girl. His record includes three earlier alleged rapes in 2002, and he served a previous sentence for kidnapping, rape and murder.
Police said he revealed where he had buried the body, and it was exhumed and a post-mortem autopsy carried out.
The case led to a protest during the weekend when roads in the area were blocked.
In still another case, an 18-year-old girl was found unconscious outside Kolkata after she was raped and thrown out of a moving car, police told the Times of India. No arrests have been made yet.
Other rape cases also were reported in the Indian media, including one on a bus very similar to the rape in New Delhi.
The five men accused in the New Delhi gang rape, which has garnered worldwide attention, were due in court Tuesday. The judge has said no media will be allowed to attend the hearing or the trial and issued a gag order blocking any news coverage.