A nine-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped, murdered and set on fire while collecting water for her parents from the local crematorium.
The girl, who lived in New Delhi, was found an hour later on the crematorium floor by her mother when she didn't come home. She was dead, wearing wet clothes and she had a bloodied nose, bruises on her hands and arms.
A Hindu priest and three accomplices have been accused of raping, killing, and forcibly cremating the girl, who was an only child, reports the Daily Mail.
The mother found her daughter's body on the crematorium floor but three suspects blocked her from taking it, according to BBC reports.
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The suspects said tot he mother that the girl had been electrocuted while fetching water, according to reports.
She asked them to call the police but they told her to not call them, and they said officers would 'steal her organs and sell them' and that there would be a long court case. Instead, they cremated the girl's body, while the family protested.
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Medical examiners can't get any evidence or clues as to what really happened from what remains of the girl. Police forensics will instead test other evidence, such as bodily fluids from the girl’s clothes, reports say.
The alleged rape and murder has caused widespread protest in India, with protesters burning effigies of prime minister Narendra Modi and accusing him of failing to condemn the alleged crimes. Protesters are also demanding that the suspects face the death penalty.
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Members of the Dalit community, which the girl was part of, have taken to the internet to express their outrage, and say the incident was a 'caste crime'.
The girl supplemented her parents' meagre income as ragpickers by begging at a shrine in Delhi’s Nangli area, according to the Independent. Official figures show that members of the lower castes are particularly vulnerable to such crimes in India.
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