(CNN) -- 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.
The sooner we rid the world of silly notions like castes, the happier we'll all be.