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Indian teenage girl stabbed to death in public, rekindling outrage over violence against women
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Indian teenage girl stabbed to death in public, rekindling outrage over violence against women

New Delhi (CNN) — A 16-year-old girl was brutally stabbed and bludgeoned to death in a crowded public alley in the Indian capital on Sunday, sparking fresh outrage over the safety of women in the country and violence perpetrated by men.

Video of the incident, which lasted over a minute and was recorded by a security camera, shows several people walking nearby as the assailant repeatedly punches the victim.

Only one man attempts to intervene, trying to pull the attacker away from the victim before quickly retreating.

The body of the victim, who has not been identified, was found on Sunday evening in the Shahbad Dairy area of ​​Rohini district, north Delhi, where the incident took place.

On Monday afternoon, Indian police announced they had arrested a suspected man named Sahil in connection with the murder.

Sahil, a mechanic by profession, was arrested in Bulandshahr, in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, Ravi Kumar Singh, deputy commissioner of the Delhi outskirts police, told reporters on Monday.

Delhi Police Special Commissioner Deependra Pathak told Indian news channel Times Now that the initial investigation pointed to a so-called “crime of passion”.

Speaking to Indian news agency ANI, the girl’s father said the family had demanded “severe punishment for the accused”.

The incident is the latest in a long string of murders and rapes that has sparked outrage over whether enough is being done to protect women in India and punish the perpetrators.

“Miner is openly brutally murdered in Delhi,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter. “It’s very sad and unfortunate. The criminals have become fearless and the police are fearless.”

“The safety of the people of Delhi is of paramount importance,” he added.

Swati Maliwal, chairwoman of the Delhi Commission for Women, told ANI she had never seen such a terrifying incident.

“Delhi has become extremely dangerous for women and girls,” she added.

India has a long history of fighting gender-based violence. A 2018 survey by the Thompson Reuters Foundation of experts on women’s issues ranked the country as the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman.

The frequency of crimes against women in India also appears to be increasing. According to data from India’s National Crime Records Office, crimes against women increased by 20% in 2020 compared to 2013, the last year before the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.

Activists say the actual statistics are likely just the tip of the iceberg, given that many forms of violence against women, such as rape, often go unreported.

Yogita Bhayana, founder of People Against Rapes in India, says much of the problem lies with old social norms.

“We are learning to live with these kinds of situations in our country, which is very unfortunate,” Bhayana told CNN. “The basic patriarchal fabric is completely rotten and now we have to fix it.”

“Putting cameras and commissioners will not be enough,” he added. “You have to work on the mentality of men and boys.”