People block the national highway in Bulandshahr to protest against the gang rape. (DNA)
The family of a woman who was raped along with her teenage daughter on a highway in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state on Monday (August 01) threatened to commit suicide if the culprits were not punished within three months.
A 35-year-old woman and her daughter were raped by a gang of robbers on the highway while they were traveling with family to Shahjahanpur on the night of July 29. The duo was pulled out of their car by the robbers at gun-point and raped in a field in Bulandshahr district, just 65 kilometres from the national capital New Delhi.
The family from Noida was heading to their native village to attend a funeral when their car was hit by a blunt object. As the vehicle stopped, the gang members pounced on them and looted their valuables before raping the women.
The victim's husband refused monetary compensation and demanded justice for his family.
"We are giving three months time to police. If the culprits are not punished within this time period, all three of us will commit suicide," he said in Noida.
Narrating the horrific incident, the victim's husband said that repeated calls to the police went unanswered on the fateful night.
"My nephew held the rope, with which my brother was tied. We dialed 100 at 4.01 am (2230 GMT) and found it busy. We tried four-five times but no one received our call and the phone kept ringing. Then, I called up my friend in Noida. He gave me the local control room's number. I called them up and only then did the police reach us," he said.
He further alleged that doctors did not behave properly with the victims at the hospital.
"The doctor at the hospital was rude to them. She (wife) told me about it only today," he said.
Sexual violence against women is a highly sensitive issue in India, where the fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012 sparked deep soul-searching about entrenched violence against women and the failure of authorities to protect them.
India has enacted tougher sentences for rapists and promised to try those accused through "fast-track" courts but rape, acid attacks and domestic violence remain common.