NEW DELHI, July 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A 17-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and thrown into a well in western India, survived by hanging on to a ledge for 15 hours until she was rescued, the New Delhi Television Station (NDTV) reported on Monday.
According to the report, the teenager was sexually assaulted by her neighbour when she went to work in a field in the town of Bhilwara in Rajasthan state. The attacker then pushed her into a nearby well.
The victim was only discovered the following morning when some passersby heard her cries for help.
"I was in the water the whole night. Then people took me out," the girl was quoted as saying. She said she had held onto a motor on a ledge which was installed inside the well.
The accused, who has gone missing, has been charged for rape and attempted murder, the report said.
Reports of crimes against women in India such as rape, dowry deaths, abduction and molestation increased by nearly 27 percent percent in 2013 compared to the previous year, according to government statistics.
Police attribute the rise in reports to more women coming forward due to greater public awareness of such crimes following the high-profile gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in December 2012.
The case led to thousands of people coming out onto the streets of Indian cities to protest against growing violence against women in the largely patriarchal and conservative nation.
On Monday, hundreds of demonstrators marched through the southern city Bangalore to express their anger over sexual violence after a school teacher was arrested for raping a six-year-old girl.
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