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India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl

 
 

Thousands of people in India’s capital took to streets this weekend to express their anger and shock over the gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in a Hindu temple in northern India.

The victim, identified as Asifa Bano, a member of a nomadic Muslim tribe in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, was given sedatives so that she wouldn’t even make noise when she was repeatedly gang raped and tortured, according to police records. Her mutilated body was found in a jungle.

The main accused is a Hindu priest. Some police officers not only sought to shield him after accepting a bribe, but one of them also asked him to wait to murder the girl until he raped her “one last time.”

While the rape and killing took place in January, national newspapers have just learned about and reported on the incident, which has led to demonstrations across the country.

StoriesAsia photographed people’s anger in central Delhi’s Jantar Mantar area, a popular protest ground, on Sunday evening.

Avinash Giri and Nantha Kishore are reporters with StoriesAsia.

India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Jantar Mantar was packed with protesters.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Some protesters wrote, with black paint, “not in my name” on each other’s faces.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Some children drew images of Asifa on the road.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Some protesters were holding India’s flag, and shouting, “This flag stands for justice, not for rape.”
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Pakhi Jain, a student, recited a heart-rending poem in solidarity with the eight-year-old victim.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Fear among parents is visible after the rape case.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Some right-wing groups had called the protest an attempt to malign Hinduism. A few protesters sought to counter that claim.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
A large number of parents brought their children to the protest – which is unusual in India.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
This child was urging people to think about her safety.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
“Asifa and all underage victims of rape deserve justice,” read one placard.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Girls and women came in large numbers to the protest.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Some Muslim women used signs and candlelight to draw attention to the rising number of hate crimes against minorities under the government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Many protesters demanded capital punishment for the accused, but some also said, “No death penalty.”
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
This little girl also contributed to the protest in her own way.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
Ilma Parveen, a student of Class VI, was shouting, “We want justice.” The placard says, “End cruelties against women; when will the Modi government act?”
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
One of the most inspiring scenes in the protest was the involvement of some differently-abled people.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
India’s Outrage Over Gang Rape, Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl
“Rapists have no religion,” the placard reads.
Image Credit: StoriesAsia
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