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

A Khasi man enjoys a Bidi or ‘country cigarette’ as a butterfly settles on his hand after fishing in the Umsiang River in Meghalaya state about 50 miles from Guwahati city, India. From picture desk live: the best news images of the day

Photograph: EPA

Kulagarh, India: Hindu devotees perform rituals of penance on hot sand during the Danda festival. They inflict self-punishment to appease Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction Photograph: Biswaranjan Rout/AP

A Hindu devotee, face smeared with coloured powder, leaves the Banke Bihari temple during Holi celebrations in Vrindavan, India. Holi, the Hindu festival of colours and also marks the advent of spring. From Picture dek live: the best news pictures of the day

Photograph: Altaf Qadri/AP

Hindu priests spray coloured water on devotees in Banke Bihari temple during Holi festival celebrations in Vrindavan, India

Photograph: Altaf Qadri/AP

Hindus throw coloured powder at the Radha Rani temple during the Lathmar Holi festival in Barsana, India.
Photograph: Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images