The suspect allegedly forced her to retract her accusations in court
A 14-year-old girl has died in India after allegedly being raped for a second time by the same man as his trial approached.
The teenager was first attacked by the suspect in December last year, her parents told police, but he was released on bail and abducted her from her family home in May shortly before a court hearing.
She returned home in Delhi almost a fortnight later with severe injuries, her parents said, saying her attacker threatened to kill her family to pressurise her to retract her initial accusation.
“We looked for her for 12 days. When my child came back home, she had bruises all over. Her mouth, chest and limbs had been blackened,” the victim’s mother told NDTV.
“They told her if she revealed anything in court, they would kill her father and mother.”
The girl, from the “untouchable” Dalit caste, said she had been repeatedly raped, beaten, deprived of food and forced to drink acid mixed with fruit juice during her imprisonment.
She fell severely ill in June and was admitted to hospital, dying in intensive care on Sunday of apparent internal injuries.
The alleged rapist has been re-arrested on suspicion of murder.
Swati Maliwal, chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, said she visited the victim on 23 July and was told her chance of survival was low because of “corrosives destroying her organs”.
“She suffered so much pain and her perpetrators were roaming free,” she added, saying the girl’s parents were “inconsolable”.
“How many Nirbhayas does Delhi want? We all simply wait for next Nirbhaya to die.”
Ms Maliwal was referring to the 2012 Delhi bus rape, when a 23-year-old physiotherapy student initially known as “Nirbhaya” because of anonymity laws died of her horrific injuries, sparking a national drive for women’s safety and justice for rape victims.
A special task force on women’s safety in Delhi that was set up in the wake of the atrocity has since been disbanded.
The Delhi Commission for Women has issued a notice to the Delhi police questioning the handling of the latest case, which follows outcry over the failure to protect other Dalit women who have been repeatedly raped and murdered.
A student of the same caste was allegedly gang raped on 13 Julywhile on her way home from college in Rohtak, Haryana, by a group of men including two suspects who assaulted her three years earlier.