“Our heads hang in shame when we hear about rapes. Why can’t we prevent this? When a daughter steps out, parents demand to know where she’s going. But when a son returns home, does anyone dare ask where he is coming from? He might have been with the wrong people, doing wrong things. After all, a person raping is someone’s son. Why don’t parents apply the same yardstick of good behaviour for their sons as for their daughters?”
— Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, used his first Independence Day speech to call on parents to take responsibility for the actions of their sons, saying the country is shamed by sexual violence

Indian police ‘gang-rape woman after she fails to pay bribe’

An Indian woman has said she was gang-raped by four officers at a police station, the latest in a string of sex attacks in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The woman said she was attacked when she went to the station overnight on Monday in the Hamirpur district to seek her husband’s release.

"At 11.30pm when there was no one in the room the sub-inspector took me to his room and raped me inside the police station," the woman told CNN-IBN. Full story here

A state minister from Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party has described rape as a “social crime”, saying “sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong”, in the latest controversial remarks by an Indian politician about rape. Full story here

Women in Uttar Pradesh protest against the state goverment after two cousins aged 12 and 14 were raped and hanged. Photograph: Hindustan Times/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

A fifth person has been arrested in relation to the gang-rape and murder of two cousins in northern India, police have said.

Officers made the latest arrest on Saturday amid growing criticism over a series of rapes. A police spokesman said three of the other arrested men were cousins in their 20s from an extended family, and had been charged with murder and rape, crimes punishable by death. Full story here

Women in Allahabad burn an effigy of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in protest against the killing of the two girls. Photo: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

Eight-year-old Ashraf-ul-Shiekh lost his left leg in a traffic accident. Two years later, he’s on his way to recovery after being given a free prosthetic limb. Read more here

Photo: Arkaprava Ghosh/Barcroft India

Indian elections: 10 things we have learned so far

There’s 3D hologram campaigns and Modi’s phantom marriage, just two of the top 10 things we have learned from the world’s biggest democratic election. What we’ve learned 

Pictured: A huge crowd turns out to greet the Bharatiya Janata party’s Narendra Modi in Vadodara, India. Photograph: Divyakant Solanki/EPA

India reels from another horrific gang rape case in wave of sexual violence


A 20-year-old woman has been raped in public by as many as 12 men on the orders of tribal elders in a village in eastern India, according to local police.

The attack, in Birbhum district about 120 miles from Kolkata, was a punishment for an “unauthorised” relationship with a man from another village and the woman’s subsequent failure to pay a 50,000 rupee (£490) fine, local media reports said. Read more

Pictured: A protest against sexual violence in Delhi. Photograph: Louis Dowse/Demotix/Corbis

Indian child slavery - in pictures

Tens of thousands of girls as young as 12 are trafficked from India’s remote north east every year. Many are the daughters of tea estate workers, whose low pay means they are unable to afford to look after their families. They end up working as servants in the Indian capital New Delhi or trafficked on to the Middle East and the UK. Many suffer physical and sexual abuse at the hands of employers who keep them locked up in their homes. Few receive the wages they were promised. The trade is driven by the low wages paid to tea plantation workers, who cannot afford to keep their daughters.

Photographs: Gethin Chamberlain for the Observer

Kolkata, India: A Hindu devotee swinging from a rope throws offerings towards other devotees during the Chadak ritual Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters