Geeta Pandey


There has been outrage in India after a student was allegedly gang-raped by five men who had also raped her three years ago.


Police are yet to make any arrests although the 21-year-old was attacked last week in Rohtak town in the northern state of Haryana.


She had been pursuing a case in court against the five men, when she was attacked on Wednesday.


The woman said she was forced inside a car and the men tried to strangle her.


She was seriously injured and left for dead in the bushes. A passerby saw her and took her to the hospital.


‘Very afraid’


The woman was first assaulted in 2013 in Bhiwani town.


Her family has alleged that they had moved to Rohtak after they were threatened by the accused who have been out on bail.


“I was leaving the college when I saw them. They were the same five men. I was very afraid. They forced me inside the car. They tried to strangulate me. They said they would kill my father and brother,” the woman, who is from a poor low-caste Dalit (formerly known as untouchables) family, told a television channel.


“I have no idea where they took me. My attackers were the same five men,” she said.


Nearly four years after the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus in Delhi caused global outrage and brought India much infamy, it appears the authorities have yet to treat the issue seriously.


The gang rape of the student in Rohtak, allegedly by the same men who raped her three years ago, is an example of how callously the authorities treat victims of rape.


Questions are being asked about how the five men, who were accused of a serious crime like rape, were free to conduct another attack.


There is also the question of why the victim and her family were not provided with any security when they said they had been threatened.


Many are wondering if this barbaric attack will jolt the government into action in a country where, according to official statistics, a rape is recorded every 15 minutes.


Her family has alleged that the attackers had been putting pressure on them to settle the case and were punishing the woman for pursuing it in court.


A local police official Garima, who uses only one name, told reporters that they had registered a complaint and a team had been sent to Bhiwani to look for the accused men.


Meanwhile, angry protests have been held in Rohtak, demanding immediate arrest of the accused men.


Rape and gender crimes have been in the spotlight in India in recent years after the brutal gang rape and murder of a student in 2012 in Delhi.


In response, tough new anti-rape laws were introduced in the country.


However, brutal sexual attacks against women and children continue to be reported across the country.


BBC News, Delhi, 18 July 2016

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