Demonstrators react as police in New Delhi fire tear gas during a protest calling for better safety for women following the rape of a student, December 22, 2012.
An Indian teenager who fell victim to a gang rape has committed suicide, a police official says.
Inspector General Paramjit Singh Gill said on Thursday that the 17-year-old girl had been “running from pillar to post to get her case registered” but officers failed to register a rape complaint.
“One of the officers tried to convince her to withdraw the case.”
Meanwhile, the victim’s sister told the Indian television that police pressured the teenager to “either reach a financial settlement with her attackers or marry one of them.”
The teenager, who was reportedly gang raped on November 13 in the Patiala region in Punjab, was found dead on Wednesday night after swallowing poison.
There had been no reports of arrests before the teenager’s death, but three people were detained over the case on Thursday.
The incident comes amid the recent widespread protests in New Delhi over an incident where a 23-year-old medical student was raped by six men on a bus earlier in December.
Over the past days, thousands of angry protesters have taken to the streets and gathered near the Indian presidential palace, demanding better safety for women.
On Sunday, protesters marched on the presidential palace carrying banners that read, “We want justice,” and, “Hang the rapists.” Students also shouted anti-government slogans.
Reports say police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.
The protesters demanded the death penalty for all the seven suspects who are now under police custody.
Delhi is notorious for crimes against women, and using public transport at night or travelling alone is considered a great risk.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 522 rape cases were reported in Delhi and the National Capital Region in 2011. Over 650 rape cases have been reported in the capital so far this year.
People accuse the officers patrolling the capital’s streets of being insensitive toward sexual crimes and ignoring related complaints. They say the country’s slow judicial system also discourages women from making complaints. Meanwhile, only one third of accused rapists get punished.
Experts believe, unless there is severe punishment for rapists, the disastrous trend will never stop.