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Monday, January 14, 2013

Six held over new gang rape on a bus in India

A woman is kidnapped and raped through the night - just four weeks after the gang rape and murder of a Delhi student on a bus. 

The attack took place in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab province
Six men have been arrested over another gang rape of a woman who was travelling on a bus in northern India. 

The victim had boarded the service to visit her in-laws when she was abducted and driven on a motorbike to a house in Gurdaspur district, bordering the city of Amritsar, in Punjab province, on Friday evening. 

Five men, including the driver and conductor, took it in turns to rape the woman before dropping her off near the village where her in-laws lived the following morning. 

The alleged attack comes just weeks after the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student on a bus in Delhi which has sparked nationwide protests about violence against women. 

"Six men have been arrested on allegations of having raped a 29-year-old woman ... after forcibly taking her to an unknown location on the night of January 11," local police officer Raj Jeet Singh said, adding that a seventh suspect was being hunted. 

"The lady, after being kidnapped, was raped brutally throughout the night by the seventh accused," he continued. 

"After raping the victim throughout the night, one of the accused dropped her near her in-laws' house the next morning where she narrated the whole incident to her sister-in-laws." 

The extent of the victim's injuries are yet to be established, the police officer added. 

On Monday, the five men accused of the December 16 Delhi attack appeared in court for the first time. 

The victim, and her male companion who was beaten up by the assailants, were thrown off the moving bus. 

The woman died in a Singapore hospital 13 days later. 

The accused, who could face the death penalty if convicted, are charged with kidnap, robbery and conspiracy over the attack. 

A sixth suspect, says he is 17. If that is confirmed, he is likely to be tried in a separate court for juveniles where the maximum sentence is three years in a reform facility. 

Demonstrators have called for tougher punishments for sex crimes in India
Protesters across India have called for the police to be more vigilant and sensitive to the growing incidence of sexual assault against women, after details emerged of the Delhi attack. 

Sky's India correspondent Alex Rossi said the latest attack was "strikingly similar" to the Delhi gang rape. 

"The bus driver and the conductor it is alleged kidnapped her then took her to a location when they and five accomplices gang-raped her," he said. 

"Eventually, after her ordeal, they dropped her off. She went to a police station, made a complaint. Six people have so far been arrested, The other person is still on the run, according to the police, and they are now investigating. 

"The woman has been sent for a medical examination, and they have started the wheels of justice, if you like, in this case. 

"The alleged culprits will appear in court on either Monday or Tuesday. 

"It is strikingly similar to the case in Delhi. Another alleged sexual attack on another woman in India." 

He added: "What will be interesting in this case is to see whether or not it provokes any kind of public reaction in terms of demonstrations or protests."
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