No potty parity here

May 2, 2008

Police in northern India arrested a man who allegedly threw a girl into a pile of glowing embers after he caught her trespassing, an attack authorities said Wednesday may have been motivated by caste.

The 6-year-old girl is recuperating at a state-run hospital in Mathura, the north Indian city where the alleged attack occurred, said Dr. Ramesh Kumar.

She is considered a dalit _ a member of the lowest caste in India, where a system of rigid social hierarchy still lingers. The alleged attacker, Madan Singh, 22, comes from a higher caste.

Singh discovered the girl relieving herself Tuesday in a field he owned and demanded she immediately stop what she was doing and leave his property.

“When she did not respond, he simply lifted her and threw her in a heap of embers,” local police official Govind Agarwal told The Associated Press. “The cry of the girl drew the attention of the villagers. They came rushing and pulled the girl out of fire.”

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