Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Gang-rapes, assaults prompt questions about women’s safety in India state

The Madhya Pradesh government is currently running a public awareness drive about crime against women and girls across the state.

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At least four violent incidents against women and girls in the last six days in various parts of Madhya Pradesh, have raised questions about their safety in the state, reports NDTV.

A 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by nine men on separate occasions after being abducted twice in Madhya Pradesh’s Umaria city earlier this month, a police official said on Sunday.

The Indian Express reports that the girl’s mother lodged a police complaint on Jan 14 following which seven of the accused were arrested on Friday. A search is underway for two other suspects.

The girl was lured and abducted from a marketplace by a person known to her on Jan 4. She was taken to a secluded spot where the person and six others allegedly raped her and later released on Jan 5, the police official said.

As the accused threatened the girl with dire consequences, she was scared and did not make any complaint, she said. The victim was again abducted by one of these accused on Jan 11.

She was taken to a desolate place where five people, including three accused in the previous incident.

Two unidentified truck drivers who she asked for help, allegedly raped her on that day and Jan 12, the official said.

The incident comes at a time when the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is heading the “Samman” campaign – a fortnight-long public awareness drive about crime against women across the state.

On Jan 9, a 48-year-old woman was raped by a man with the help of four others inside her hut in Sidhi district, according to the police. The main accused in the case also allegedly inserted an iron rod in the private parts of the woman. All five accused have been arrested.

Two days later on Jan 11, a 13-year-old girl was kidnapped by her neighbour in Khandwa district, who then allegedly raped and murdered her.

Just a day later, in Ujjain district a young woman was assaulted by her husband and father-in-law, who suspected her of infidelity. The accused men along with women of the family used sharp-edged weapons to cut the woman’s nose, breast and also injured parts of her body.

The woman is battling for her life at a hospital in Indore. Two suspects have been arrested.

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