An Indian woman has alleged that she was gang-raped by four officers at a police station in the state of Uttar Pradesh state, barely two weeks after two teenage girls were gang-raped and hanged from a tree in another area of the state.
The woman said she had gone to the station overnight on Monday in the state’s Hamirpur district to seek her husband’s release when she was attacked.
“At 11:30pm when there was no one in the room the sub-inspector took me to his room and raped me inside the police station,” the woman told local news channel CNN-IBN.
The woman filed a complaint with a senior officer on Wednesday over the attack, which allegedly occurred when she refused to pay a bribe to secure the release of her husband.
“The procedure will be followed, the victim has filed a complaint and the guilty will be arrested soon,” Virendra Kumar Shekhar, a police official from Hamirpur, said.
Sub-inspector Balbir Singh said a criminal case had been lodged against four officers from the station.
Police said they were also investigating the death of a 19-year-old found hanging from a tree in a village in Moradabad district.
“The body was strung up using the girl’s dupatta (long scarf),” senior police superintendent Ashutosh Kumar said.
“The FIR (first information report) was lodged by the girl’s brother against unidentified persons. He has alleged the girl was murdered,” Kumar told AFP.
The case is the latest in a string of horrific rapes and murders in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, where its chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is under growing political pressure over his handling of law and order.
Late last month, two girls, aged 12 and 14, were gang-raped and lynched in their village. They were attacked after going into a field to relieve themselves at night because they did not have a toilet at home.
Their families refused to cut the bodies down from the tree for hours in protest, saying police had failed to take action against the attackers because the girls were from a low caste.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged all politicians to work together to protect women, in his first comments on the issue since the hanging of the girls sparked public outrage.
Modi warned politicians against “politicising rape”, saying they were “playing with the dignity of women” in his first speech to parliament since sweeping to power at last month’s national elections.
India brought in tougher laws last year against sexual offenders after the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi in December 2012, but they have failed to stem the tide of violence against women.
In another incident on Wednesday, a 45-year-old woman was found hanging from a tree in Uttar Pradesh, with her family saying she had been raped and murdered.
A police officer said they were questioning five men over the incident, which occurred several kilometres from her home in Bahraich district.
Mamata Sharma, head of the state-run National Commission for Women, urged Yadav to resign, calling his government’s failure to protect women “shameful”.
“They (the government) not only fails in protecting their women but they don’t even have the police in their control,” Sharma told NDTV news channel. [AFP]