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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 27 August, 2014

Hundreds of Indian election candidates accused of sexual violence

Figures released by the Association for Democratic Reforms show that hundreds of election candidates had allegations against them – as had scores of those in power.

Protests in New Delhi today
Protests in New Delhi today
Image: AP Photo/Anupam Nath

A THINKTANK IN New Delhi has released figures showing that scores of state and national politicians in India have had charges of crimes against women laid against them.

The Association for Democratic Reforms released the figures listing the charges, mostly ones of a sexual nature, had been listed on the sworn affidavits of parliamentarians at the time of their election.

The report noted that political parties in India had allowed 27 candidates to stand for election in the past five years, even though they had declared that they had been charged with rape.

There was an even larger  number of candidates who were allowed to contest elections in the past five years whose parties knew that they had been accused of other crimes against women “such as outraging the modesty of a women, assault, insulting the modesty of a woman etc.” There were 260 candidates who fell into this category.

Six members of parliament have said that had charges of rape made against them – 26 other elected members stood accused of other crimes against women.

The report comes in a week of ongoing protests over the treatment of women in Indian society. The protests were provoked by the gang rape of a 23-year-old female student on a bus in New Delhi last Sunday. She suffered terrible internal injuries – including to her intestines – during the attack and six men have been arrested for the assault on her and for the beating of her male companion.

Aljazeera reported this morning that police in the city had used tear gas and water cannons on protestors today, leaving several injured.

Indian protestors shout slogans as policeman use water cannons to disperse them on a march to the Presidential Palace in New Delhi today. Pic: AP Photo/Tsering Toygyal

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