A 20-year-old college student was found in the roadside bushes of a small northern Indian city last week, raped and left for dead. In the days afterward, a shocking possibility came to light: Her attackers may be the same five men who had raped her three years earlier but were out on bail. They allegedly raped her again because she had been so steadfast in her case against them.
Heinous rape cases periodically find airtime in the Indian news cycle, but the outcry is often muted when the victim belongs to a lower caste. The unnamed girl in this case is a Dalit, a term used to describe the lowest rungs of India's caste system. Casteism is outlawed by India's constitution, but the practice is widespread, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. The five men whom the girl's family blames for the rapes belong to the upper castes.
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