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Minor Dies After Reportedly Being Gang Raped, Set On Fire In India

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A minor girl died in India on Wednesday after reportedly being gang raped and set on fire.

The unnamed child was assaulted by three village youths in the Sirsa Kalaar district of the northern city of Orai on Tuesday, Oct. 22, according to the Indo-Asian News Service. The girl's assailants reportedly set her on fire after she threatened to turn them in.

She sustained burns to 80 percent of her body and died in the hospital Wednesday, per IANS. Although the girl's parents have not filed a police complaint, authorities are said to be looking for the assailants.

A class-eight school student, the girl was likely around 14 years old.

This was not the only brutal attack in India within the past week. The Press Trust of India reported Wednesday that a class-seven girl was abducted and raped at gunpoint in a sugarcane field by alleged assailant Sumit Kumar. He has been arrested, and there is a case pending against him.

Last week, a 22-year-old technology professional working in the southern city of Hyderabad was kidnapped and raped by two cabbies, according to the Deccan Chronicle. The men threatened to hurt her or her family if she resisted or reported the attack. They were later arrested.

Four men were sentenced to death in September for the rape and murder of a 23-year-old New Delhi student. The gruesome attack made headlines around the world, and the case shed light on the pervasive sexual assault problem in the country.

After the sentencing, Jacqueline Bhabha, director of research for the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health, spoke with the Harvard Gazette about India's rape crisis and the societal ills that need mending. She cited female feticide, child marriage, teen pregnancy and domestic violence.

"There’s an education challenge and a public culture challenge," she said. "Ultimately, I think these norm changes really cumulatively come not so much from the top down, but from the bottom up. It is from organizing, from establishing new norms that are considered to be impressive, powerful, worth emulating, from the bottom up. But it is also a question of women having skills and women having access to power and having places where they can complain and safe places."

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