By Tara Subramaniam and Manveena Suri, CNN
New Delhi (CNN) A 16-year-old girl was brutally stabbed and beaten to death in a crowded public alleyway in India’s capital on Sunday, sparking renewed outrage over the safety of women in the country and violence perpetrated by men.
Video of the incident, which lasted for more than a minute and was captured on a security camera, shows several people walking nearby as the attacker repeatedly punches the victim.
Only one man is shown attempting to intervene, trying to pull the attacker off the victim before quickly retreating.
The body of the victim, who has not been identified, was found on Sunday night in the Shahbad Dairy area of the Rohini neighborhood of north Delhi, where the incident occurred.
On Monday afternoon, Indian police said they had arrested a suspected man named Sahil in connection with the murder.
Sahil, a mechanic, was arrested in Bulandshahr, in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, Ravi Kumar Singh, deputy commissioner of outer Delhi police told reporters on Monday.
Delhi Police Special Commissioner Deependra Pathak said Indian news channel Times Now that the initial investigation pointed to an alleged “crime of passion”.
Speaking to the Indian news agency ANI, the girl’s father said the family demanded “strict punishment for the accused.”
The incident is the latest in a long string of murders and rapes that has sparked outrage over whether enough is being done to protect women in India and punish the attackers.
“A minor girl is openly brutally murdered in Delhi,” Delhi Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter. “This is very sad and unfortunate. Criminals have become fearless and are no longer afraid of the police.”
“The safety of the people of Delhi is of paramount importance,” he added.
Swati Maliwal, Chairman of the Delhi Women’s Commission, told ANI she has never seen such a scary incident.
“Delhi has become extremely unsafe for women and girls,” she added.
India has long struggled to address gender-based violence. TO 2018 Thompson Reuters Foundation survey of experts on women’s issues ranked the country as the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman.
The frequency of crimes against women in India also seems to be increasing. According to data from India’s National Bureau of Crime Records, crimes against women were 20% higher in 2020 compared to 2013, the last year before the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.
Activists say the actual statistics are likely just the tip of the iceberg, given that many forms of violence against women, such as rape, often go unreported.
Yogita Bhayana, founder of People Against Rapes in India, said the problem is largely rooted in old social norms.
“We learn to live with this type of situation in our country, which is very unfortunate,” Bhayana told CNN. “The basic patriarchal fabric is totally rotten and right now we have to fix that.”
“Putting up cameras and putting up bailiffs will not be enough,” he added. “The work has to be done in the minds of men and boys.”
The CNN Wire
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