Protests broke out in Calcutta on Wednesday after police in India tried to cremate the body of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly gang-raped twice and died after setting herself on fire.
Early Wednesday, police took the teen's body to be cremated against the wishes of her family, the U.K. Telegraph reported.
The girl was allegedly gang-raped in October. She went to police to report it, and was allegedly raped by the same group of men as she returned home. She and her family were tormented and threatened until the girl set herself on fire on Dec. 24. She suffered burns to 40% of her body, most significantly to her face and throat, making it hard for her to breathe. She died on New Year's Eve of multiple organ failure.
Her parents were waiting for other family members to arrive before cremating her body, but police wanted the cremation to take place immediately.
The Telegraph reported the men accused of raping the girl have links to West Bengali's ruling party.
"This gang raped her twice, she went to the police, and they had the temerity to go to her house and threaten her. Clearly they have political patronage, otherwise it is impossible for that to happen. In all my experience I have never seen a case where a girl has been gang-raped twice," women's rights campaigner Brinda Karat told the Telegraph.
National Commission for Women chairwoman Mamta Sharma told the Times of India the police should have been working to prevent the second rape, not helping the accused.