Ankita’s Brutal Death That Set India On Fire | News and analysis on international topics | DW

The death of the 19-year-old Indian woman sparked huge outrage over ongoing violence against women in the country. The victim, who was identified as Ankita, hailed from Dumka area and was in the final year of high school. She was allegedly doused with kerosene while she was sleeping and set on fire by a man who began stalking her after she rejected his marriage proposal. At the hospital, they tried to save the woman, but she died of her injuries.

Mass protests

Her death sparked mass protests demanding justice. Eventually, the situation got out of control, which required the security services to restore order. The district authorities restricted the movement of people to prevent the consequences of the incident.

Local Hindu groups and politicians have called for the alleged perpetrator, who is in police custody, to receive the death penalty and suggested that he killed Ankita for religious reasons as well, as she is a Hindu and he is a Muslim. Dumka has a large Hindu majority – 79% of the population, while only 8% of its inhabitants are Muslim.

Opposition politicians in India said Ankita’s death showed how law and order was breaking down in the state of Jharkhand.

“After the cruelty meted out to Ankita, her death has made every Indian bow their head in shame,” Rahul Gandhi, leader of the main opposition Indian National Congress party, said on Twitter.

“Today it is extremely necessary to create a safe environment for women in the country”.

Violence against women

Although Jharkhand is home to over 40% of India’s mineral resources, corruption and cronyism have led to a situation where 39% of the population lives below the poverty line and malnutrition among young children is a serious problem.

The killing has reignited outrage over violence against women in India. According to the UN, the prevalence of domestic violence, sexual assault and femicide is why India consistently ranks in the bottom 20% of the gender inequality index.

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