A new gang rape case involving a private bus has been reported in India, where the brutal gang rape and death of a 23-year-old female medical student has prompted global outrage and demands for reform. A woman is estimated to be raped every twenty minutes in India.
Some aspects of the new case are eerily similar to the first. A 29-year-old woman was gang raped by seven men on Friday in Punjab after the driver and conductor of a private bus refused to let the woman off the bus. Instead, they took her to a building where she was raped repeatedly by seven men. The victim was dropped off near her village on Saturday morning, when she reported the attacks to the police. Six of seven suspects in this case have been arrested.
Chandigarh’s senior police spokesman Hardeep Dhillon told the Washington Post, “The increased media reporting and the protests have created an awakening among women, and they are now coming forward like never before to report rape and want to fight for justice…This has also made our police force more sensitive to these cases. Now they file the complaint immediately and believe the victim’s statement without questioning.” He continued, “Earlier, the police would merely make a note of the details of a rape case when a woman came to the police station. They would hold a preliminary inquiry, ascertain the facts and only then register a formal complaint.” Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab.
In the first case, a physiotherapy student was tortured and raped by a group of six men who were armed with a metal bar on a private bus in New Delhi on December 16th. The woman was raped for nearly an hour before a metal rod was pushed inside her, critically damaging her internal organs. The victim was flown to Singapore for medical treatment where she died of her injuries two weeks later.
According to the Times of India, the victim’s friend who witnessed the attack and was also brutally beaten by the attackers, has refused police security protection. Five of the accused in this case have been arrested and are jailed in New Delhi. The sixth accused man is a minor who is being held in an observation home.