• The molested girl's father said the police's slow response pushed his daughter to hang herself
  • A police official admitted lapses in the victim's case against her molesters
  • The police took 46 days to lodge a report on the molestation incident earlier this year

An 18-year-old girl in India killed herself at her home Wednesday after police failed to take action against her molesters.

The girl's father had lodged a first information report (FIR) against three individuals under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 306 (abetment of suicide) after his daughter hanged herself and died, The Times of India reported.

The teen's father lambasted the police for their slow action on his daughter's complaint against her molesters, saying the authorities "sat on the matter for over four months."

"My daughter and niece were not called to record their statements. The accused continued to harass us, and my daughter was often targeted," the father said.

"She was under a lot of stress. The police failed her. They are responsible for her death," he added.

Preetinder Singh, the commissioner of Uttar Pradesh Police, admitted that "there have been lapses" in the handling of the case involving the teenager.

"A departmental probe is being conducted," Singh said.

Singh said they have arrested Pramendra Kumar, a teacher at a government-run school. Kumar's father, Amar Singh, and his wife, Dimple, have also been named in the complaint concerning the suicide case.

On Jan. 1, the teenage girl and her cousin were supposed to buy vegetables at a nearby market. On the way, two unidentified men on bikes allegedly stopped them and went on to abuse and molest them.

The suspects left the scene after threatening the victim to urge her father not to take legal action against their neighbors. The victim's father, a contractor with the electricity department, filed a police complaint against their neighbors for encroachment on public space.

Following the alleged incident, the father went to the police station to file a complaint against his daughter and niece's molesters, but the police initially didn't register an FIR.

On Feb. 17, 46 days after the incident, a report was finally registered after the victim's family made several visits to the police station, wrote to the women's commission, and met the police commissioner.

The suspects were charged under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 341 (wrongful restraint), and 506 (criminal intimidation).

According to the "Crime in India 2021" report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), India recorded 31,677 cases of rape in 2021, or an average of 86 cases daily.

The NCRB data also showed that nearly 49 cases of crime against women were lodged every single hour, The Hindu reported.

The Indian state of Rajasthan had the highest number of rape cases with 6,337, followed by Madhya Pradesh (2,947), Maharashtra (2,496), and Uttar Pradesh (2,845).

In 2018, a survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation revealed that India was the most dangerous place for women worldwide.

Reuters reported that India was ranked as the most dangerous place due to sexual violence and harassment against women, cultural and traditional practices, and human trafficking.

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Activists with various women's rights groups protest in October against atrocities committed on women in India
Activists with various women's rights groups protest in October against atrocities committed on women in India AFP / Manjunath Kiran