Police in India took the body of a pregnant 16-year-old girl, who had been gang raped twice and set on fire, and cremated her remains against her parents' wishes.
The Culcutta teen was gang-raped on Oct. 25. The next day, as she returned from reporting the crime to police, she was gang-raped again by the same men who attacked her the day before. Her family tried to move away from the neighborhood where the attacks occured, but were unable to escape the harassment of the men who sexually assaulted her.
On Dec. 23, two unknown assailants poured kerosene over the girl and lit her on fire in her home. Police suspect someone burned her to keep her from testifying against the attackers.
"She gave us a dying declaration in front of the health officials that she was set on fire by two persons close to the accused when she was alone at home on December 23," police officer Nimbala Santosh Uttamrao told AFP.
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She was admitted to a hospital Tuesday with burns on 40 percent of her body. She died on Dec. 31.
That evening, Calcutta police hijacked a hearse carrying her body and forcibly took it to be cremated, against the family’s request to wait. Her family was in the process of organizing a public funeral procession for the girl.
Officers showed up at the family’s doorstep at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday and threatened to break door the down, reported the Times of India. They needed the girl’s death certificate before cremation would be granted.
"The superintendent of police and other officers reached our house in the dead of the night and asked us to open the door,” her father said. “We were scared and refused to come out before day broke. They threatened to break down the door and told us to go back to Bihar."
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When her father refused, police tormented the family all morning.
The victim’s father complained to West Bengal Gov. M.K. Narayanan, demanding that action be taken against the “tyrannical officers.”
The family believes police were against a public procession that would draw attention to the culture of rape that has become rampant in the country.