Outrage across India after 8-year-old girl raped and murdered

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Protest marches were organized in the capital New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Indore, Ajmer, Surat, Goa, Thiruvananthapuram and other towns.

Candlelight vigils were also held in Malegaon and at some other places of the country.

"We are deeply concerned about the prevalence of gender-based violence, including sexual violence against women and girls, which we are witnessing in India", Yuri Afanasiev, the United Nations resident coordinator in India, said in a statement last week.

They have also engulfed Narendra Modi's ruling BJP party in an election year, with the party accused of trying to shield a state MP in one case and of defending the accused in the other. She was lured into the woods by her attackers, drugged, locked in a temple, gang raped for days and finally strangled.

Rushikesh Nimbre, a resident of Mumbra, was arrested on the complaint of a 29-year-old widow who claimed that the accused had repeatedly raped her between December 2016, and April 2018 on the pretext of marriage. "Do not fall for the ruse to divide us on Hindu-Muslim lines".

Last week a group of Hindu lawyers surrounded a court in Kashmir, claiming the eight suspects were being discriminated against due to their faith. The hashtags #justiceforAsifa and #Kathua have since been trending. I am ashamed. #JusticeForOurChild #JusticeForAsifa. The girl is around 11 years old. "Murdered", running into the tens of thousands. The alleged attack occurred past year but only started making headlines again after the woman tried to set herself on fire outside the state chief minister's residence last weekend. Recently, the 16-year-old's father died in the police custody after being brutally beaten by the MLA's brother. Gujarat is Modi's home state, where he was the chief minister from 2001 until he took national office in 2014. The lawmaker was only arrested on Friday, following widespread outrage over the victim's family's allegations the local police had stonewalled their attempts to file a case against him.

PROTESTS across India have called upon the government to do more to protect girls and women from sexual assault following a string of gruesome rape cases involving children.

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But high numbers of assaults persist, with 40,000 rape cases reported every year.

In the second case, federal police said began questioning a BJP member of the legislature of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Friday over the rape of a teenager in June previous year. Police have arrested eight men, including a retired government official, four police officers and a juvenile in connection with Asifa's death. Hundreds of Hindu lawyers have protested that the men, two of them police officers, are innocent.

"That people can commit such a serious crime as rape with anything approaching impunity is the underlying issue here".

Massive protests were organised across various parts of India, including New Delhi and Mumbai, under "Not In My Name" campaign to demand justice for victims of Kathua and Unnao rape cases.

Critics of the BJP say a culture of sectarian division and male entitlement among the ruling class is a by-product of the party's Right-wing, socially conservative agenda.

Ms Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development, said on Friday that her ministry planned to propose the death penalty for the rape of children younger than 12. The two BJP ministers have resigned from the cabinet after the outrage. "We have taken the help of print as well as social media, like WhatsApp, to spread her pictures with the hope that someone who knows her would identify her", said Pandesara police station inspector K B Jhala.

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