The alleged rape, murder and forced cremation of a 9-year-old girl in the Indian capital recently has once again put the spotlight on the gruesome sexual crimes against women in the country, as well the treatment of those on the lowest rung of the nation’s rigid caste system, from which the girl hailed.

According to authorities, the girl told her mother on Sunday that she was going to fetch water from a crematorium near her house in southwestern New Delhi.

About 30 minutes later, police said, the crematorium’s priest called the mother, who was told that her daughter had been electrocuted.

Her family said that when the girl did not return, they went looking for her. The mother said she saw her daughter’s body on the floor of the crematorium with bruises all over. She said the priest and three other men at the crematorium told her not to call the police and threatened her.

The suspects then incinerated the girl’s body against the family’s wishes and without calling authorities, police said.

Police say four men, including the crematorium’s priest, have been arrested on charges of rape, murder and criminal intimidation.

This is the latest in a series of brutal sexual crimes against women in India that has drawn international condemnation.

The gruesome incident is a throwback to last year’s alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit teenger by upper-caste men in the town of Hathras in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

It also caused widespread outrage after police forcibly cremated her body despite her family’s protests.

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