Delhi gang-rape case: 20-year-old paraded through streets; seven women among nine held
Terming it shameful, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal requested Centre to direct police to take strict action and pay attention to the law and order situation
New Delhi: A woman was allegedly abducted, gang-raped and paraded by her attackers on the streets of east Delhi’s Kasturba Nagar with her hair chopped, face blackened and a shoe garland around her neck, police said on Thursday. Of the 11 accused, nine people, including seven women from one family, have been nabbed.
The incident, which once again highlights the vulnerability of women in the national capital and is described by police as provoked by personal enmity, took place on Wednesday afternoon, a few metres from a police booth that was closed since it was Republic Day.
Several videos purportedly of the woman being paraded did the rounds of social media.
Of the 11 people involved, seven are women and four men, including juveniles. While the seven women have been arrested, police are trying to ascertain the age of the two others picked up, officials said.
The 20-year-old woman, who was rescued by police and is being counselled, was at her husband's home in Anand Vihar when the accused who lived near her mother's place in Kasturba Nagar abducted her, police said.
Preliminary investigations indicate the woman and a boy belonging to the family of the accused were friends.
"The boy committed suicide in November last year and his family is now blaming the survivor. They said it was because of her that he took the extreme step. To extract revenge from her, they abducted her. They wanted to teach her a lesson," a senior police official said.
Those accused in police custody said during their interrogation they perpetrated the sexual assault and the subsequent public humiliation to defame the survivor, officials disclosed.
The other two accused have also been identified but are absconding.
Twelve sections of the Indian Penal Code, including that abduction and gang-rape have been added to the case, and the survivor’s family provided police security, police said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir and DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal were among those who condemned the brutal assault and the subsequent public humiliation and asked for strong action.
Terming it really shameful, Kejriwal said in a Hindi post on Twitter, "How did the criminals get so much courage? I request the Union Home minister and the LG to direct police to take strict action and pay attention to the law and order situation. Delhiites won't tolerate such heinous crimes and criminals at any cost."
The Delhi Commission for Women said it has sent a notice to Delhi Police seeking strict action against the accused after the videos of the woman being paraded were circulated on social media platforms.
"A 20-year-old woman was gang-raped by illegal liquor sellers who shaved her head, garlanded her with slippers and blackened her face. I am issuing a notice to Delhi Police…," DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said in a Twitter post in Hindi.
Maliwal met the survivor who informed her that she was abducted from her home and gang-raped by the men involved in the illicit trade of liquor and drugs. While she was being sexually assaulted, the women were present and instigating the men, the survivor said.
"She was brutally gang-raped by criminals and has terrible bruises all over her body and is in deep trauma. All culprits including the women who instigated the gang rape must be arrested. Further, the survivor and her family need to be given protection. Delhi Police must also take steps to crack down the sale of illegal liquor and drugs in the Capital…,” Maliwal said on Twitter after meeting the survivor.
Gambhir said the accused involved in the barbaric assault will not be spared and he had spoken to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) R. Sathiyasundaram.
"… Some arrests have been made & more will follow. I assure that these animals (men & women) will not be spared. Every kind of support will be provided to the survivor," he tweeted.
Giving details, police officials said they received a call at 1:18 pm on Wednesday about the incident. The woman was taken from Anand Vihar to Kasturba Nagar.
In her complaint to the police, the woman said she was abducted by her acquaintances who live near her mother’s place. They took her to their house where they assaulted her. Besides, they chopped her hair and forcefully made her wear a garland of slippers. They then humiliated her in public by parading her, an official said.
"Teams were rushed to the spot after we found out that a group of people were parading a woman on the streets and also beating her up… We rescued the woman and took her to the police station where she is being counselled," he said.
In one of the purported videos of the incident, the woman can be seen being paraded by a group of people, including women who are abusing her. People can also be heard whistling in the background.
In another video, she can be seen being thrashed with a belt by a man while another woman is beating her with a stick. And in a third, women are shaving off her hair while also abusing her.
All the allegations levelled by both the parties are being verified and investigation is underway in the matter, said DCP Sathiyasundaram.
Neighbours at Kasturba Nagar refused to share any details and said they were inside their homes or were out for work when the incident happened.
"We were inside our homes when the incident took place. It's only when we heard noises, we like others saw the woman was being paraded. That's it. We then went inside our homes," said one neighbour on condition of anonymity.
Another said locals in the area are scared of the accused and their family who are allegedly involved in selling illicit liquor.
"No one will say anything against them because everyone is scared," he said.
According to police, the suspect, who is a sketch artist by profession, was living with the 17-year-old victim as her guardian
Superintendent of Police Nikhil Pathak said police were preparing to produce the accused SHO, Tilakdhari Saroj, in court later in the day
The police on Thursday arrested the four accused for the incident that took place at a village, around 40 km from the district headquarters