AN accused rapist in India has allegedly set fire to his victim with her husband and seven-year-old daughter after they went to the police.
The attacks, both reportedly carried out at the family’s home in the northern city of Gwalior, are the latest in a string of incidents that have sparked protests across the country in recent years.
A string of prominent rape cases have sparked protests across India in recent yearsCredit: Reuters
The accused, 32, thought to be a friend of the husband’s, allegedly raped the woman while she was home alone on October 31.
Gwalior police superintendent Amit Sanghi said the man threatened the woman with “dire consequences if she informed anyone about the crime”.
The woman told her husband, who then went to the police to file a First Information Report (FIR), the Hindustan Times reports.
The family says that the officers on duty failed to make any report, but that the man found out the police had been told and came to their home again.
“[The accused] entered the victim’s house the same night and set the victim’s husband afire,” Sanghi said.
“When the woman and her seven-year-old daughter rushed to the rescue of the man, the accused also poured petrol on them and set them afire.”
All three members of the family were taken to a government hospital and are said to be in a serious condition.
The suspect also reportedly sustained burns and is now thought to be receiving treatment at a private hospital.
Local police have launched a search for the man at private hospitals in the area.
Sanghi said: “We are also inquiring about the accusations made by the victim that police at Thatipur police station did not lodge her rape complaint.”
The attack is just the latest in a string of rape cases that have sparked widespread protests across India in recent years.
The issue first gained international attention following the gang-rape and death of 23-year-old physiotherapy intern Jyoti Singh in Delhi in December 2012.
Singh died two weeks after she was attacked by a group of six men while travelling on a bus with a male friend, who was also badly beaten.
Thousands of protesters later took to the streets in capital New Delhi and elsewhere, accusing state and central governments of failing to do enough to provide security for women.
In October, a mother was gang-raped in front of her husband and children at the family’s home in a village in the state of Punjab.
September saw a tour guide allegedly raped by five men and a woman at a five-star hotel in Delhi.
In August, the body of a 13-year-old girl who had been raped and strangled was found dumped near a sugarcane field in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Recent years have seen tougher laws introduced as part of attempts to address the problem, but around 34,000 rapes continue to be reported each year, around one every 15 minutes.
Difficulty experienced by victims in trying to get police to properly lodge and investigate their allegations is a common theme in reports of the assaults.
A protest opposing violence against women held in New Delhi last monthCredit: AFP or licensors
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