Crimes against women on rise in India: millions hold silent protests across Maharashtra

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Crimes against women on rise in India: millions hold silent protests across Maharashtra

A court in India has given the death penalty to three men convicted for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl.

The men, in their 20s, had raped the teenager in July last year. The court had declared them guilty on 18 November. The victim belonged to the upper-caste Maratha community while the men were all Dalits, formerly untouchables. The crime saw millions of Marathas holding silent protests across the western state of Maharashtra for weeks. The victim and her attackers both lived in Kopardi village and the crime is widely known as the Kopardi case.

The brutality of the crime has led many to compare the case with the 2012 gang-rape of a young woman on a bus in the Indian capital, Delhi. There has been increased focus on crimes against women in recent years in India. However, thousands of rapes continue to be reported to the police every year.