A twenty-year-old "low-caste" Dalit (lowest in Indian caste hierarchy) woman student was allegedly gang-raped a second time by five men in Haryana, northern India last week, police said on Sunday (July 17).
The incident took place in the city of Rohtak on Wednesday (July 13).
The victim, studying at Rohtak's IC College, had allegedly been gang-raped by the same men in Bhiwani in 2013. Police had at the time arrested two of the men accused, who were later granted bail by a local court.
Police have this time detained three suspects.
Deputy superintendent of police, Pushpa Khatri, said the suspects were being interrogated.
"Three accused have been rounded up and interrogation is still going on. Some contradictory facts have come to our knowledge and we are trying to verify those facts and on those facts further action will be taken in this case," Khatri said.
Khatri added police were examining CCTV video footage to identify the other two accused in the case.
"We have not been able to identify two suspects so far. We are trying our best and we will inform you as and when facts emerge," Khatri added.
On Wednesday, the accused allegedly waylaid the victim outside her college and raped her. She was found lying unconscious in a cluster of bushes in the Sukhpura Chowk locality. She was rushed to a government hospital.
"I was coming out of the college. Of the five accused, two were outside the car and three inside. I was scared of seeing them. They took me in the car," the victim said from her hospital bed.
The victim's family alleged she was gang-raped again because they had refused to accept an out-of-court settlement of five million Indian Rupees (about USD $75,000) offered by the accused.
The girl's brother said the accused were trying to threaten them into accepting the out-of-court settlement.
"These five accused had raped her in 2013 also. They gang-raped and threatened her. Among the five, only two were arrested and the rest three are out. We had even got the high court to issue summons to them. We left Bhiwani out of fear," said the victim's brother.
He said his sister had wanted to become a lecturer but the alleged attacks on her have left her shattered.
Rohtak City woman police station house officer, Garima, said a case has been registered against the accused and that a manhunt has been launched to find the two remaining men.
"We have received information that a girl has been hospitalised and she has been raped. On this basis, we have recorded her statement. The girl is a student of IC college. She was picked up from outside the college in a car and five persons raped her," said Garima.
Violence against women is common in India, with rapes, acid attacks, domestic violence, dowry and deaths being reported frequently.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, India registered 337,922 incidents of crimes against women in 2014, up nine per cent since 2013. Out of those, 36,735 were incidents of rape.