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Search on for Baptist girl’s attackers

Rights groups demand swift action after gang-rape outside church reporter, Hyderabad

April 18, 2011

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Church groups are demanding swift action to catch the men who allegedly gang-raped an 18-year-old Baptist girl yesterday in Hyderabad, southern India. Details of the attack remain sketchy. The girl was attending a Palm Sunday service with her visually handicapped mother when she received a call on her cell phone and left the church. There is little information about where she went but her mother received a call from the distressed girl around noon. Her mother says the girl was bundled out of a car and the assailants fled and she was found bleeding near the church. Police spokesman, Akun Sabharwal, said doctors confirmed the girl was raped by several men but the girl has been unable to provide any details about her attackers. Several dalit organizations yesterday staged a protest outside the hospital seeking swift action against the rapists. The ecumenical Christian Rights Protection Group condemned the incident and demanded more security outside churches. Montfort Brother Varghese Theckenath, a social activist, said the incident was the result of the “commodification of everything including women.” He regretted that few people protest about such incidents and called for a national campaign to make Indian cities safe for women. “Church groups and religious institutions have a role to play in creating a culture of respect for women,” the director of the Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad, said. Related links Catholics, police injured as parishioners clash on Palm Sunday
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