A man, incensed that a six-year-old girl chose to walk through a path reserved for upper caste villagers, pushed her into burning embers, police in north India said Wednesday. She was seriously burned.
The girl is a Dalit, or an "untouchable," according to India's traditional caste system.
India's constitution outlaws caste-based discrimination, and barriers have broken down in large cities. Prejudice, however, persists in some rural areas of the country.
The girl was walking with her mother down a path in the city of Mathura when she was accosted by a man in his late teens, said police superintendent R.K. Chaturvedi.
"He scolded them both and pushed her," Chaturvedi said. The girl fell about three to four feet into pile of burning embers by the side of the road.
The girl remained in critical condition Wednesday.
The man confessed to the crime and was charged with attempted murder, Chaturvedi said. More...
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