An Indian student is recovering in hospital following her gang-rape by a group of men including those charged with sexually assaulting her three years before, an officer stated on Monday.
Haryana state police were on the hunt for the five accused of abducting the 21-year-old student of the lowest Dalit social caste from outside her college before drugging and raping her in a car.
She was found unconscious in bushes on the side of a highway last Wednesday night in Haryana, bordering New Delhi. It marked the country’s latest shocking sexual attack.
Pushpa Khatri, Haryana deputy superintendent of police mentioned that the student, who is still being treated in hospital, has pointed out all five men, two of whom are presently on bail awaiting trial for raping her in 2013.
“She has identified the five accused and two of them were involved in the gang-rape of the student in Bhiwandi district in 2013,” Khatri told AFP.
“We have formed several teams to arrest the accused.”
The five have been accused by the woman’s family of threatening them in the lead-up to Wednesday’s attack, demanding that the rape case lodged against them following the 2013 assault be withdrawn.
The victim’s brother was quoted as saying, “The accused were constantly threatening us to compromise outside the court. They even offered us a hefty amount for settlement. But we didn’t agree.”
The family also claimed that they were compelled to move to Rohtak district in the state after the 2013 attack due to the harassment by the accused.
Small protests in Rohtak were held by members of the Dalit caste on Sunday, demanding justice for the victim.
In 2012, the serious gang-rape of a student on a bus in Delhi placed a global spotlight on the disturbing levels of violence against women in India.
As a result, major reforms to India’s rape laws were made, including the speeding up of trials and increased punishments for offenders. Despite these, terrible attacks persist and are reported to the media on a daily basis.
The most recent official figures reveal that 36,735 rapes were reported across the country in 2014. However, activists believe that the true number is much likely higher because of the social stigma following sexual crimes.