Teenage girl fights for her life in India after alleged rapist’s fire attack

Mainpuri – Fears are growing for the survival of a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly set on fire by a family member who is also accused of raping her as she fights for her life at a hospital in northern India. In a case that has shocked the country, police in Uttar Pradesh state arrested an 18-year-old man and his mother on Monday on suspicion of attempted murder for allegedly pouring kerosene on the girl and setting her ablaze upon learning she was pregnant, according to police officials.

“She’s critical. Doctors are trying to save her but there (may be) no hope of survival,” the girl’s mother told CNN on Thursday.

On average, India reports one rape every 17 minutes, according to the latest government figures, and campaigners say the girl’s case highlights just how deeply entrenched misogynistic and patriarchal values are in the country of 1.3 billion. The problem is exacerbated in rural India because women remain largely uneducated and stigma surrounding sexual assault runs rampant, they say.

“This case shows how young girls are still at great risk of of sexual violence,” said Jayna Kothari, a senior advocate at India’s Supreme Court. “The fact is that these cases are becoming more violent because there is no accountability for the perpetrators. People continue such acts with impunity because there is no fear.”…