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Anand Mahindra's Rare Outburst As 9-Year-Old Is Raped, Killed In Surat

NDTV logo NDTV 16-04-2018 Edited by Anindita Sanyal

New Delhi: Industrialist Anand Mahindra is known to maintain a calm and circumspect persona on Twitter. Even in the face of provocation and abuse, the 62-year-old's social media presence rarely sees outbursts. But as India grapples with a spate of news about rape and murder of minor girls - including an 8-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir and a 16-year-old in Uttar Pradesh - the rage surging through the nation proved infectious.

On Sunday, after NDTV reported that the body of a 9-year-old - bearing 80 wounds - who was raped and murdered, Mr Mahindra tweeted:

The exceptionally sharp words found bitter echoes on Twitter.India has seen massive public outrage - reminiscent of the nationwide protests in 2012 that followed the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in Delhi - with details of the rape and murder of the 8-year-old in Kathua proving a tipping point.

The police chargesheet said the child had been drugged, starved and repeatedly gangraped for a week after her abduction on January 10. The chargesheet also said before her head was bashed with a stone, one of the assailants - a police officer - had asked the killer to wait so he could rape the child for one last time.

Among the eight persons arrested in the case are four police officers.

Days before the gory details emerged, another young girl from Unnao had tried to commit suicide outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minster Yogi Adityanath's house. She said she had been raped by a BJP lawmaker and his nbrother a year ago and had been running from pillar to post for justice. A day late, her father, who had been mercilessly thrashed for his refusal to withdraw the case, died. The lawmaker's brother was arrested in the case of assault.

Citizens' groups organised protests across the country - including New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru - today while thousands of people have taken to social media to seek justice for the girls.

India registered about 40,000 rape cases in 2016, up from 25,000 in 2012, according to government data. Thousands more go unreported, activists say.

Earlier this week, Maneka Gandhi, the minister for women and child development, said her ministry planned to propose the death penalty for the rape of children younger than 12. The maximum punishment now is life imprisonment.

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