05:55 GMT28 October 2020
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    In an incident that reveals the deep-rooted prejudice based on skin color within the Indian community, a teenager in southern India set herself on fire after facing continuous harassment by her schoolmates who shamed her for being dark-skinned.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — A 14-year-old girl from the south Indian state of Telangana set herself on fire after she was allegedly harassed by her schoolmates for having dark skin. M Lavanya, of Domadugu village in Gummadidala, the Sangareddy district of the state of Telangana, succumbed to her burn injuries in a Hyderabad hospital on Monday. She had been fighting for life for seven days.

    A case has been registered in Gummadidala police station against the boys who taunted her in school.

    "We are also considering booking the school management for negligence as her complaint to the school principal went unnoticed several times," a local police officer of Gummadidala police station told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: Muslim Burned Alive in India for Allegedly Committing 'Love Jihad' [VIDEO 18+]

    After being repeatedly shamed for her skin color, Lavanya had approached the school principal for action against her abusers. However, the principal decided to shift the responsibility onto her, instead of taking action against her schoolmates, according to Lavanya's declaration to the magistrate before her death. 

    "The principal asked me why I did it. When I said that I tried to kill myself, they asked me if I was 'mental' or 'stupid', but did not take up my complaint," the dying declaration reads.

    Last year, a schoolgirl in West Bengal named Mamta had killed herself, unable to bear the taunts of her own parents who allegedly despised her for being dark skinned. 


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    skin color, self-immolation, fire, suicide, India
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