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Indian woman found hanging from tree

| Thursday, June 12, 2014, 7:03 p.m.

NEW DELHI — A 19-year- old woman was found hanging from a tree early Thursday after apparently being raped in a village — causing a fresh wave of outrage in a country stunned over recent fatal sexual assaults of two teenage girls.

Despite huge street demonstrations during the past two years protesting sexual assaults and the passage of a tough anti-rape law, incidents haven't declined.

Scant facts are available in the latest case in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The 10th-grade dropout left her home without informing her parents, police said. The cause of her death was not immediately confirmed.

Police said there are no obvious signs of murder and that she might have committed suicide. But earlier in the day, her family told local reporters that she was raped and killed.

Incidents of brutal sexual assault in India have drawn international criticism.

Government officials on Thursday rejected criticism from the U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women. Rashida Manjoo said in a recent report that violence against Indian women occurs “from womb to tomb.”

The government posted comments on the United Nations Human Rights Council website, saying that her conclusion was simplistic and smacked of a “highly prejudiced state of mind.”

A rape takes place every 20 minutes in India, according to cases brought to the attention of authorities.

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