In a nation with several rapes reported every hour, the act itself has become all too commonplace.
But two teenagers in northern India suffered added indignity — hanged from a tree after being allegedly gang-raped — that has spurred international outrage
about this incident, specifically, and, more generally, about the startling rate of rape in this South Asian country.
The attack happened Tuesday night in a village in Uttar Pradesh state’s Budaun district, said R.K.S. Rathore, a deputy inspector-general of police.
The victims were cousins, ages 14 and 16, and from the same village. They both belonged to what the police official called “backward castes,” meaning
they’d been born low on India’s caste system that has long defined a person’s place in society.
The girls’ families filed a complaint accusing three brothers of rape and murder, Rathore told CNN.
“We are investigating all possible angles and collecting evidence,” he said Thursday. “So far, we have no evidence that points to any kind of enmity.”
Police have been able to arrest and charge at least one of the suspects in the case as they hunt for the others.
A police constable has also been arrested over allegations that he sided with the suspects and delayed the registration of the case.
This Uttar Pradesh incident is the latest of several rapes in India that have recently captured the world’s attention.
Twitter was full of condemnations and anger about this case and the prevalence of rape in India. Many posed questions along the lines of, “When is India going to change?”