A 16-year-old girl, who became pregnant after she was raped by her neighbor, reportedly took her own life by consuming rat poison in a village near Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India on Tuesday, Jan. 18. 

The underage tribal girl was reportedly repeatedly raped by her neighbor Hariprasad, 27, during the COVID-19 lockdown last year. Despite the recurring abuse, the victim reportedly chose not to alert the authorities out of fear of being blamed and stigmatized, the Times Of India reported.

A few months ago, the girl had reportedly returned to the Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) to continue her studies after the government lifted lockdown restrictions and reopened the schools in Tamil Nadu. However, on Dec. 22, the girl fainted on the school premises and her hostel warden T Shenbagavalli, 37, took her to a nearby government hospital for treatment.

At the facility, the doctor informed the warden about the girl’s pregnancy. The dorm officer then alerted the headmaster Kumaragurubaran, 51, about the minor's condition. However, the two school officials, reportedly, kept the information a secret from the underage girl’s parents. 

After finding out about her pregnancy, the student seemingly sank into a deep depression. On Jan. 7, the distraught girl attempted to kill herself at her parent's home by consuming rat poison.

She was discovered unresponsive and immediately rushed to a local hospital. At the facility, the doctors finally informed her parents and relatives that the girl was six months pregnant.

After the girl regained consciousness after spending four days in a coma, she told the authorities that she decided to take her own life out of hopelessness because she had become pregnant after being repeatedly raped by her neighbor, a certain Hariprasad, during the lockdown last year, the New Indian Express reported.

Following this, the police booked Hariprasad under IPS sections 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act of 2012, 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and different sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Act of 1989. The suspect was arrested on Sunday, Jan. 16.

The victim, who tested subsequently positive for a COVID-19 infection, underwent an abortion but died on Tuesday, Jan. 18, after battling for her life for twelve days at the Tiruvannamalai Government hospital.

Meanwhile, police officers also arrested Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) headmaster and hostel warden on charges of failing to report the crime to the authorities.

depression-gf4aa00c69_1920 A 16-year-old girl, who became pregnant after she was raped by her neighbor, reportedly took her own life by consuming rat poison in a village near Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India on Tuesday, Jan. 18. This is a representational image. Pixabay