India‘s Rape Crisis: 17 Men Accused of Repeatedly Raping 11-Y-O Deaf Girl

India‘s Rape Crisis: 17 Men Accused of Repeatedly Raping 11-Y-O Deaf Girl

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Sign up By , Christian Post Contributor | Jul 19, 2018 8:58 AM (Photo: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)Security personnel stand guard in front of the India Gate amidst the heavy smog in New Delhi, October 31, 2016.

A court in southern India has charged a 66-year-old man and 16 others with the repeated gang-rape of an 11-year-old deaf girl over a period of seven months. The incident is part the country‘s ongoing rape crisis, which has also seen Christian women attacked.

The accused, including security guards, elevator operators, electricians and plumbers, have been ordered to be held in custody until July 31, according to , a newspaper published from the city of Chennai, where the crimes took place.

The 66-year-old, who‘s an elevator operator, allegedly drugged the girl and invited other men to assault her in her apartment block after she returned home from school. The other men filmed each other raping the child, according to media reports.

More suspects are likely to be charged in the case, police said.

In his police complaint, the girl‘s father wrote that his daughter complained of periodic stomach aches and later told her mother that she was sexually abused from Jan. 15 to July 5, according to the .

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The accused had blackmailed and threatened the victim with dire consequences if she reported the rape to her parents.

The incident has sparked public outrage.

Lawyers beat the accused when they arrived at a court in Chennai on Tuesday, and the lawyers‘ association in the city has declared that no attorney will defend the accused.

On Wednesday, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said 110,333 cases of rape were registered in the country between 2014 and 2016, according to .

In April, thousands of people held a demonstration in Delhi to express their anger against the gang rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in a Hindu temple in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The victim, identified as Asifa Bano, a member of a nomadic Muslim tribe, was given sedatives and repeatedly gang raped and tortured. A few days later, her mutilated body was found in a jungle.

Some police officers protected the accused, a Hindu priest, after accepting a bribe. One of the officers asked the priest to murder the girl after he also raped her “one last time.”

Girls and women from the minority Muslim and Christian communities are also raped when incidents of religion-related violence take place, as women are seen as the “property” of their husbands or fathers. Rape is often used as a weapon to harm the “honor” of victims‘ “masters.”

In June, five women working for a Christian missionary group were abducted and  by men who filmed their crime in eastern India.

The women were performing a play aimed at raising awareness for human trafficking in the Khunti district of Jharkhand state when they were abducted by unidentified assailants. The attackers raped the women at gunpoint.

The women worked for the non-governmental organization Asha Kiran, which is supported by a local Christian missionary group.

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