A 16-year-old girl was found beheaded in India with her head doused in acid and breasts mutilated in the northeastern Indian city of Gaya.
According to local reports, the victim’s family claimed that she was raped before the she was killed, but police suspect that it was a case of honor killing. Per a report by the New York Post, according to the account of the girl’s family, she went missing on December 28.
The mutilated body of the girl — who has been identified as Anjana on social media — was found near her home on January 6. Talking to India’s NDTV, police official Rajiv Mishra provided another version of the story. He informed that Anjana’s mother and sister have said that the girl had returned home on December 31 but her father sent her away with a man known to the family the same night.
The mother, father, and another relative of the deceased have been taken into custody and an investigation is underway. The report also detailed that an autopsy will find out the cause of death and will also determine whether allegations of rape are true.
The brutal murder of the girl has sparked outrage in India and protesters have taken to the streets, asking for justice. According to NDTV, protesters were angry because of the perceived delay in arrests.
Per the New York Post report, rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India and latest statistics show that in 2016, 106 women were raped each day, out of which four out of every 10 victims were minors. Statistics obtained from reported cases further reveal that in most of the cases, the assault is carried out by close relatives of the victims, including fathers, brothers, and sons.
On social media, human rights groups and feminists also expressed their outrage and demanded from the Indian government to take immediate action against the perpetrators.
Rituparna Chatterjee, renowned Indian journalist and the leader of India’s #MeToo movement, took to her Twitter account and said that the “family of the victim is running from pillar to post to get justice.” She informed that people have marched and urged India’s national media to pick up the story and help get the word out.
A few local Hindi papers have reported about this. I've been sent the pictures of the girl's body by activists in Gaya. The brutality is beyond words. National media needs to pressure the government to follow the case.— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) January 10, 2019
“[Sixteen] yrs girl raped. No media is covering this news. Because the victim is from poor family in a small village (Bihar) Please help us in getting justice [sic],” another Twitter user said.
UPDATE: Just had a phone conversation with one of the protesters and organisers of the candle march. The family is allegedly in police custody and the police is trying to give this an honour killing angle. The girl is from an OBC family and has been missing since Dec 28.— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) January 10, 2019
Another user, Sibaprasad Mohanty, a tech product builder from Bengaluru, tweeted that the victim was a relative of his college friend.
“She was just a 16 year old, who was brutally murdered after being raped. The culprits are out at large and media doesn’t cover small town stories #JusticeForAnjana.”