This story is getting a lot of coverage around the world, and deservedly so. Via Hindustan Times: Akhilesh govt faces outrage over rapes, Rahul may visit Badaun today. Click through for the full report and video of the two untouchable girls hanging from a mango tree. (I declined the experience.) Excerpt:
Outrage erupted on Friday over a spate of sex crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh where a third gang-rape of a teenage girl was reported overnight, prompting Union home minister Rajnath Singh to seek a report from the state government.
Police said a Dalit [untouchable] teenage girl was gang-raped in Azamgarh, the constituency of Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Thursday night, close on the heels of the gang-rape of two teenage cousins who were found hanging from a tree on Wednesday in village Katra of Badaun district, about 300km from Lucknow.
Under pressure to act, the UP government said on Friday it had sacked two constables for failing to investigate the disappearance of the cousins. Of the seven wanted in the case, the three who have been arrested so far include Sarvesh and brothers Pappu Yadav and Awadhesh Yadav.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has also ordered that suspects in the attack on the cousins, who were 14 and 15, be tried in special "fast track" courts. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is expected to visit Badaun on Saturday to meet the family members of the girls.
Four other suspects — Urvesh Yadav (brother of Pappu and Awadhesh), constable Chhatrapal and two unidentified persons — are at large, said superintendent of police AK Saxena.
In a separate incident, police said they had arrested three men for attacking the mother of a rape victim after she refused to withdraw her complaint. The attack, in Etawah, followed the May 11 rape of the woman's teenage daughter.
On Friday, a video of the two cousin teenagers' corpses hanging from a mango tree and swaying gently in a breeze drew relentless media attention and criticism in India and abroad, virtually reprising the global condemnation the country faced following the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi in December, 2012.
But in signs that India remains a country tolerant to sexual violence, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav mocked journalists for asking about the attack.
"Aren't you safe? You're not facing any danger, are you?" Yadav said in Lucknow. "Then why are you worried? What's it to you?"
His father, Mulayam, had provoked outrage during the election campaign by saying about the death penalty for some rape cases: "Boys commit mistakes. Will they be hanged for rape?"
The two Dalit girls, we learn from a report in Hindustan Times, were defecating in a field when they were attacked. So apart from being untouchables in a caste-ridden country, and girls in a misogynist country, the lack of a simple toilet in their home exposed them to lethal sexual violence. And according to this BBC News report, countless Indian women are exposed to just such violence every day, for just that reason.