A woman died in a hospital in New Delhi a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago she said she had been raped by a group of men, which sparked protests in the city.
Authorities said the 19-year-old victim of the Dalit community was attacked and raped on a land near her home in the Haslas district, 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Delhi, on September 14.
Police arrested four men suspected of committing crimes and dragged the victim to a field in the Haslas district, where they allegedly raped and seriously injured her.
Authorities said the woman was taken from a hospital in Uttar Pradesh to Safdarong Hospital in New Delhi on Monday, where she died while undergoing treatment.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the hospital on Tuesday, where they gathered with the police and briefly blocked traffic on the main road.
Her case is the latest in a series of serious crimes against women in India, making her notorious for being one of the worst places for women in the world.
According to the 2018 government data released this year, an Indian woman is raped every 15 minutes.
The opposition party condemned the attack and some opposition parties called for a nationwide protest.
“There is next to no protection for women. Criminals are openly committing crimes,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the general secretary of the Indian National Congress said on Twitter.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Premier and Dalit politician Mayawati wrote, “The government must provide all possible assistance to the victim’s family and ensure that criminals are prosecuted quickly by prosecuting criminals in fast-paced courts.”
Akhilesh Yadav, another former chief minister, said the government was “insensitive” to crimes against women.
Another Dalit politician, Chandrashekhar Azad, visited the victim this weekend and is now calling for a nationwide protest against her death.
Dalits at the bottom of the Indian caste system complained that prejudice was legally denying them the right to equal protection.
Activists from the Bhim Army, a party that defends Dalits rights, chanted slogans near the hospital’s mortal room, where the woman’s body was kept. Dozens of paramilitary troops were deployed nearby in the evening.
The leader of the Bimmu army, Chandra Shekhar Aazad, asked Dalits across the country to take to the streets and the perpetrators were to be hanged. He said on Twitter, “We can’t take it anymore, we want justice.”
Authorities in the Haslas region have stated that the case will be referred to a prompt court to expedite the investigation.
According to the BBC, the victim’s brother said no one had been arrested in the first ten days after the incident.
“She was left for dead. She fought for her life for 14 days,” he said.
The BBC reported that the woman’s death was one of the main trends on Twitter: “Many people call her the forgotten Nirvana, referring to the gang rape and murder in Delhi that shocked the world in 2012.”
Because strict laws forbid mentioning her name, she was referred to by the media as Nirbhaya, meaning “fearless person.”
According to AFP, Bollywood celebrities, cricket stars and women’s rights activists have adopted social media to condemn the attack.
“Sad, sad day. How much longer can this be allowed to go on,” wrote director-producer Farhan Akhtar.
“What happened in #Hathras is inhumane and goes beyond cruelty. Hope the culprits of this heinous crime will be brought to justice,” cricket megastar Virat Kohli tweeted.
Activist Kavita Krishnan said the attack reflected the “larger picture of structural violence” against Dalit women.
The woman’s home state Uttar Pradesh, ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, ranks as the least safe state for women in the country.
Last December, a 23-year-old Dalit woman died after being set ablaze by a gang of men as she made her way to a court in Uttar Pradesh to press rape charges.