India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh has reportedly had five cases of rape and violent sexual assault against girls and women since Sunday night.
In the latest case, a 12-year-old girl's body was found in sugarcane fields in Gajna village in Sitapur district, not far from the state capital, Lucknow, police told BBC. She was gagged and had blood stains on her clothes, and police say she was raped.
The father told police the girl had been returning home from classes at a local madrassa when she got separated from her brother in the rain. When the family went to look for her, they found her in the fields.
(From GlobalPost: India: a remarkable rape case)
Late Sunday night, a married woman in Etah district in Uttar Pradesh was reportedly raped and burnt alive by five men.
Another girl was found murdered in Gonda district Sunday, a case of alleged rape against a minor was registered in Ferozabad district, and a woman accused a constable and his accomplice of raping her in Akrabad district, the Indian Express reports.
Discrimination against women is rampant in Uttar Pradesh. Girija Vyas, the head of the National Commission for Women, has said Uttar Pradesh is one of the worst states for violence against women, BBC reports.
However, the reports of five sexual attacks in less than two days has shocked the nation, reports the news magazine India Today.
"The incidents triggered angry outbursts from the Opposition, with the Samajwadi Party (SP) dubbing the state a "Balatkari (rapist) Pradesh," it states.