A 13-year-old Indian girl was reportedly beheaded by a neighbor after she refused to have sex with the man, sparking a nationwide outcry.
As the Sun reported, the unnamed girl was propositioned by her neighbor, who was from a higher caste. When she refused, the man brutally killed her and beheaded her with a sickle, the report noted.
The girl’s killing has sparked controversy over the caste system, and suspect Dinesh Kumar was reportedly arrested under a 1989 law that outlawed caste-based violence. Many decried the system as antiquated and often allowing acts of violence against women.
The murdered girl’s parent were laborers who say that the neighbor continually made sexual advances toward the young girl, which she rebuffed. The man then propositioned the girl again this week, finally growing violent at her denial.
Some media reports claimed that the man was mentally disturbed, but police pushed back against that assertion, News 18 reported. The man was being held in a local jail after being arrested for the girl’s murder.
The young girl’s killing captured international attention this week, with a number of major news outlets reporting on her death and the debate regarding the caste system that followed.
Activists say this kind of violence against lower castes is all too common in India. The nation’s crime statistics bureau noted that there were a total of 47,000 crimes against people of lower castes in 2016.
“Why does the establishment not show that strength? Such incidents are constantly happening. When we are pushing for advocacy, the political will must be questioned, or the lack of political will must be questioned,” political activist Radhika Ganesh told CNN, via the Sun.
As the Telegraph India noted in a report before the young girl’s death, high-profile incidents of violence against lower castes were becoming more common. One of those incidents came just a little over a month ago, when a group of men ambushed 23-year-old P. Pranay Kumar for marrying a woman outside his caste. Kumar was hacked to death, and the woman’s father and uncle, who disapproved of the marriage, were named as the top suspects.
Young Indian girl BEHEADED with hook 'for refusing sex with neighbor' https://t.co/3IjYxrhXtb— ChadRiley (@ChadRiley) November 4, 2018
The murder sharply divided the region. As the report noted, a Facebook page set up to memorialize the victim ended up becoming an outlet for hate, with many saying he deserved to die for marrying outside his caste.
Police have not released the name of the 13-year-old girl who was reportedly beheaded for rebuffing her neighbor’s sexual advances.