India police arrest main suspect in teenager's rape and murder

Posted May 08, 2018

Dhanu Bhuiyan was arrested after police found him hiding at a family member's home in Chatra, a village in eastern Jharkhand state, on Sunday.

Authorities believe the teenager was kidnapped from her rural home Thursday night, while her family was at a wedding, and raped in a nearby forest.

Pakur Superintendent of Police Shailendra Prasad Barnwal said that the accused was arrested on the basis of the statement of the victim.

The accused refused to accept the punishment and the fine imposed by the panchayat, following which the accused allegedly reached the house of the girl and set her afire with the help of his henchmen. After the suspects beat up the family members of the girls because they complained of them, and she herself burned to death.

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Earlier this year, the gang rape and killing of an 8-year-old Muslim girl in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir inflamed religious tensions.

Some 578 rape cases were reported in Delhi up to April 15, against 563 in 2017 in the same period.

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the trial of eight men, all of them Hindus, who have been arrested in the case must be held in Punjab because of the deep divisions between the communities.

The villagers then informed the local police which took the woman to a hospital.

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"We have also set up a medical board which will conduct the (victim's) post-mortem", police inspector general Shambhu Thakur said.

According to CBS News, despite the recent arrests that took place on Saturday, May 5, local police are still looking for the main suspect in the case.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has called for stringent punishment and announced compensation of 100,000 rupees ($1,500) for the victim's family.

More than 40,000 rape cases are reported in India every year.

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In the neighbouring Odisha state, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped in the district of Sambalpur. The government recently put out an executive order to change the law and bring in the death penalty for child rapists.