Two teenage sisters in rural India were raped and killed by attackers who hung their bodies from a mango tree, which became the scene of a silent protest by villagers angry about alleged police inaction in the case. Two of the four men arrested so far are police officers.
Villagers found the girls’ bodies hanging from the tree early Wednesday, hours after they disappeared from fields near their home in Katra village in Uttar Pradesh state, police Superintendent Atul Saxena said. The girls, who were 14 and 15, had gone into the fields because there was no toilet in their home.
Hundreds of angry villagers stayed next to the tree throughout Wednesday, silently protesting the police response. Indian TV footage showed the villagers sitting under the girls’ bodies as they swung in the wind, and preventing authorities from taking them down until the suspects were arrested.
The Best Line in The Whole Article:
Records show a rape is committed every 22 minutes in India, a nation of 1.2 billion people. Activists say that number is low because of an entrenched culture of tolerance for sexual violence, which leads many cases to go unreported. Women are often pressed by family or police to stay quiet about sexual assault, and those who do report it are often subjected to public ridicule or social stigma.
I asked Murray about another development that disturbed me at the hearing last week: Two police officers tried to shred Esparza’s credibility by saying she’d somehow consented to being raped. One said that after Ramirez overpowered her, Esparza “consented to Gonzalo raping her.” Another testified that because Patricia was too weak to fend Gonzalo off, she “allowed Gonzalo to rape her.”
It should be obvious, especially to anyone in law enforcement: There is no such thing as consenting to being raped. It’s a contradiction in terms. For police and prosecutors to create any other impression is to blur the definition of rape in a way that disserves victims everywhere.
Murray, however, said, “I’ve heard a million people say she was raped. Really? There’s been no finding of that and I know of no evidence of that except the accused murderer’s statement of it.”
Would you please ask the D.A. to make sense of this?