A 16-year-old girl has taken her own life after allegedly being gang-raped as punishment for her mother winning a local election in India.
The teenager was found hanging on Christmas Day after reportedly being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by two relatives of a losing candidate.
She went to police with her mother and other relatives, claiming that she had been snatched while she was asleep at home and attacked in a field on December 23.
But the girl was sent home with only verbal reassurances from officers who reportedly refused to file an official report.
The girl, who has not been named, took her own life the next day, apparently traumatised and humiliated at not being taken seriously.
It was only after her death that police arrested two suspects.
The Socialist Party candidate in Mirzapur, Arvind Sen, told The Times Of India that the girl was gang-raped to avenge the poll defeat, allegedly by relatives of a losing candidate.
Her mother was elected for the local government faction, the block development council, in the Mirzapur district of north-east India.
However, a senior police officer told NDTV that a post-mortem report did not find signs of rape.
The alleged incident is the latest in a series of high-profile cases to have shone a spotlight on women’s safety in India in recent years.
Indian police also said today that they had arrested two contract workers accused of raping a woman at the premises of technology giant Infosys.
The men, aged in their 20s, filmed the alleged assault, which occurred on Sunday at one of the IT firm’s offices in the western city of Pune in Maharashtra state, officers said.
It comes a week after lawmakers passed a bill allowing harsher punishments for juveniles aged 16-18 following an outcry over the release of a young rapist who served three years in a detention facility for his part in a notorious gang rape in 2012.
Earlier this month, an Indian court sentenced seven men to death after they were convicted of the rape and murder of a Nepalese woman suffering from mental illness, reports said.