Indian teenager commits suicide after latest gang-rape outrage
Gang-rape victim in Punjab takes her own life after police refuse to investigate her attackers
A 17-year-old Indian gang-rape victim has committed suicide after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers.
Amid an uproar over the gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, the latest case has again shone the spotlight on the Indian police's handling of sex crimes.
One police officer has been sacked and another suspended over their conduct after the assault during the Diwali festival on November 13 in the Patiala region in the Punjab.
The teenager was found dead on Wednesday night after swallowing poison.
Inspector General Paramjit Singh Gill said the teenager had been "running from pillar to post to get her case registered" but officers failed to open a formal inquiry.
"One of the officers tried to convince her to withdraw the case," said Gill, the police chief for the area.
Before her death, there had been no arrests over her case, although three people were detained on Thursday. Two of them were her alleged male attackers and the third was a suspected woman accomplice.
The victim's sister told Indian television that the teenager had been urged to either accept a cash settlement or marry one of her attackers. "The police started pressuring her to either reach a financial settlement with her attackers or marry one of them," she said.
In another blow to the reputation of India's police, the Press Trust of India reported that an officer has been suspended for allegedly refusing to register a rape complaint in the northern state of Chhattisgar. The woman and her husband later brought the case to the attention of a more senior officer and a hunt has been launched for her attacker.
The latest cases emerged amid widespread anger and protests about the case of a 23-year-old student now fighting for her life in a Singapore hospital.
The hospital last night reported her condition had "taken a turn for the worse". "Her vital signs are deteriorating with signs of severe organ failure," Kelvin Loh, chief executive officer of Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said. The family had been told of her worsening condition and "they are currently by her side to encourage and comfort her".
The decision to fly her in a special air ambulance was taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cabinet on Wednesday, after the government promised to pay all her medical bills.