Two women have been kidnapped and gang-raped near Delhi, police said yesterday, in two separate incidents that highlighted the persistent risk of sexual assault in India.
In one case, three men abducted and attacked a 19-year-old woman, who hailed an auto-rickshaw carrying two male passengers near a popular shopping centre in Delhi’s satellite city of Ghaziabad last weekend, a police official said.
“The driver drove the rickshaw to a remote forested area where he and the two other men repeatedly raped her before fleeing the area,” Nitin Tiwari, Ghaziabad’s senior superintendent of police, said.
The teenager then made her way to a local police station where she filed a case against her attackers, two of whom confessed to their crimes earlier this week, Tiwari said.
Police are still in pursuit of the third man, he added.
The second incident involved a 25-year-old woman who met one of her alleged attackers in a park in east Delhi on Wednesday to discuss a possible job opportunity, Delhi police press officer Satbir Singh said.
“She said the man offered her a soft drink, which she drank before passing out due to some illicit substance in the drink. When she woke up, she found herself trapped in a car with a few other men inside,” Singh said.
“The men raped her before dumping her near a dustbin, where police found her lying unconscious at two in the morning,” he said.
Police have registered a case and are hunting for the alleged attackers, he added.
Seven complaints of sexual assault, including four rapes of girls under 18, have been registered in New Delhi since Tuesday, reports said.
Police also said a three-year-old child who was allegedly kidnapped and gang-raped had been admitted to a hospital in the southern state of Kerala.
The toddler went missing on Tuesday morning, before a group of school students found her lying unconscious outside and called the police, according to NDTV news channel.
The child sustained several injuries and has already been through two surgeries at a hospital in Kozhikode, where she is currently under observation.
The crimes provide grist for a growing debate in India over the status of women and girls and their safety in the country.
Rape incidents in Delhi alone have doubled this year, Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran told the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, on Wednesday.
The Indian capital has seen around four rape cases a day since January 1, compared to an average of two rape cases registered daily in 2012, though the increase could be attributed, in part, to more reporting by emboldened women.
Thousands took to the streets to protest against the treatment of women following the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in Delhi on December 16.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court yesterday allowed an appeal by an accused in the December gang-rape to use as evidence the TV interview of the victim’s friend, the sole witness to the ghastly incident.
Justice G P Mittal set aside the order of a fast-track court and asked it to permit Ram Singh to use the CD of the interview as evidence.
Ram Singh’s lawyer V K Anand had moved the high court after the fast-track court dismissed his appeal.
The man whose interview is the bone of contention is a software engineer, who was travelling with the woman on the night of December 16. The couple had watched a movie before boarding the private bus in which the gang-rape took place.