Surviving severe burns and a sexual assault, a 13-year-old Dalit girl on October 5, 2020 accused her employer’s son of setting her ablaze for rejecting his sexual advances, said a New Indian Express report.
The girl who suffered burns on 70 percent of her body worked as domestic help at a house in Khammam, Telangana – a non-BJP state. However, the political ideology of the administration made no difference to the fate of the marginalised girl who was assaulted on September 18, mere days after the Hathras gang-rape was assaulted.
On Monday, the girl told her father in a private hospital that the accused Allam Maraiah attempted to rape her. She said Maraiah asked her to sleep with him, and when she refused, he forced himself on her and then set her ablaze.
While the incident did take place around mid-September, the previously unconscious girl could only report the incident recently. The employer, Allam Subbaro’s family had taken her to the private hospital and hid the details of the incident from the Dalit girl’s family.
Her father rushed to the hospital when the Subbaro finally told the family that the girl had been injured while working. After hearing his daughter’s side of the story, the father lodged a complaint with the One Town police in Khammam. According to the police, a case has been registered for rape, attempt to murder, outraging a woman’s modesty and other provisions under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
The minor girl started working at Subbarao house in May 2020 and used to stay there as well.
This incident is one of the many caste-based crimes being reported in recent times. Even the National Crime Records Bureau’s data focuses on northern India while focusing on caste-motivated crimes against women. However, the aforementioned incident raises the question of women’s safety in Southern states especially Telangana which has a defunct Women’s Commission that fails to look into the concerns of women.
After multiple cases in Uttar Pradesh, and a few cases in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana is now the third state to report caste-motivated crimes against women in the last few months.