(NY POST) – A 16-year-old Indian girl was raped — then burned to death by her attackers when her family sought justice, according to reports.
The man believed primarily responsible for the brutal attacks was arrested Saturday. At least 14 other men were also nabbed in the incident in eastern Jharkhand state.
The horrific series of events began when the accused man, Dhanu Bhuiyan, saw the girl at her uncle’s wedding ceremony Thursday evening, according to the Indian Express newspaper. Bhuiyan took her for a motorcycle ride along with his cousin, Sudhir Bhuiyan.
She was allegedly raped in a wooded area and then brought back to the wedding about an hour later.
By then, word had spread about the disappearance, and the family appealed to the village council.
The council on Friday ordered Bhuiyan’s family to pay a fine of 50,000 rupees, or about $750, and apologize to the girl’s family. The accused men were also told to do 100 sit-ups each.
The ruling led to a fistfight. In the meantime, an enraged Dhanu Bhuiyan allegedly went to the girl’s house, beat her up, poured gasoline on her and lit her on fire. He then took off, law enforcement said.
Most of the subsequent arrests came in connection with the attack on the girl’s family members, the paper reported. A search for Sudhir Bhuiyan is ongoing.
Village councils carry no legal authority but exert huge influence over India’s rural life. They often resolve disputes, bypassing India’s costly judicial system.
The killing is the latest in a series of headline-making sex crimes in India. An 8-year-old Muslim girl was gang-raped and murdered last month in Kashmir.
India’s crime records show about 40,000 rape cases reported in 2016. Reported rapes of minor children more than doubled between 2012 and 2016, reflecting more than 40 percent of all sex crimes.