A woman and her minor daughter were allegedly raped by a gang of robbers near Dostpur village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh while they were travelling with their family, the police said today.
Additional director general of police in Uttar Pradesh, Daljeet Chaudhary, said a probe has been ordered into the incident, adding that 15 suspects were detained and teams had been dispatched to arrest the main culprit. This comes after a number of rape incidents have recently come to light, leading to public censure.
"The family was travelling to Shahjahanpur from Ghaziabad. They were forcefully stopped by robbers who took them (victims) to a nearby field and beat them and raped the women," Chaudhary said in provincial capital Lucknow.
"We have detained 15 suspects, whose movements have been traced at that time. The main culprit has been identified after we showed them (victims) some photographs. Now, our attempt is to arrest him as soon as possible," he added.
The car was hit by a blunt object, forcing them to stop. The gang dragged the women, including the 13-year-old girl, to a nearby field and raped them while the men were tied with ropes, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vaibhav Krishna said.
They were also looted of their cash, jewellery and mobile phones, he said.
One of the family members managed to untie the ropes and reported the matter to the police, Krishna added.
A first information report (FIR) under relevant sections of the IPC was lodged against five accused, he said.
Station house officer (SHO) Ramsen of Kotwali Dehat was relieved from the charge of the case and attached with Police Lines here after police reported his negligence in the case, the SSP said.
Activists blame authorities, question mindset
Taking serious note of the gang rape, activists have urged those in power not to shelter the criminals and called for a change in mindset. Former National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Mamta Sharma said Uttar Pradesh is the worst when it comes to crime.
"As far as police is concerned, I would say that the National Commission for Women must take suo motu cognizance in such cases," she said.
Pleading the people to change their mindset towards women, Sharma said Uttar Pradesh truly needs a change along with their mentality and attitude towards women."It is a very sensitive case. So the chairperson of that state commission and the National Commission for Women should together investigate the matter,"she added.
Meanwhile, former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Barkha Shukla Singh held the administration responsible."See, National Highway-9 (NH-9) is a very famous and one of the busiest roads. So, I think the administration is to be blamed and there should be barricades and police station at various places," Singh told ANI.
Women's rights activist Brinda Adige on her part dubbed the incident as shameful "It is a very shameful incident in a country, which is developing the cities, is building roads and flyovers and bridges, but is unable to extend any protection to the women of the country," she said.
Adige also drew the attention of those in power to the crime against the women "They (politicians) are unable to extend any help to our children, to our taxpaying citizen, to the citizen that puts them into power. And I think, we are also at fault, for not holding the politicians accountable for not holding the system accountable and not questioning why this safety and protection is not extended," Singh added.
Another women's rights activist Nisha Sidhu said that the people had high expectations from Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh hoping that several initiatives would be taken to ensure the safety of women."Till the time rules are not followed strictly, the criminals are not saved and will not be given any political patronage, they will not be saved. And for that they need strong willpower which I think Akhilesh government lacks," Sidhu said.
(ANI, PTI, Reuters)