Six men were arrested for allegedly raping a bus passenger in India, police said Sunday, just four weeks after the brutal attack on a medical student in New Delhi outraged the country and led to protests calling for tougher rape laws.
A 29-year old woman was the only passenger on a bus to her village in Punjab on Friday night when the driver refused to stop at her village and drove to a desolate location where the conductor and five other men allegedly took turns in raping her.
The driver dropped the woman off at her village early Saturday before she went to a police station herself to file a complaint, a police statement said. The woman didn’t need hospitalization after the assault, in contrast to the victim of a gang rape in New Delhi.
Police arrested six suspects, who admitted involvement in the rape, on Saturday and were searching for another, police officer Raj Jeet Singh said. The suspects have not been officially charged because they don’t yet have legal counsel, police said.
This comes amid protests demanding for stringent laws against crimes against women and reforms on deep-seated social prejudice on women, AP reports.
“It’s very deep malaise. This aspect of gender justice hasn’t been dealt with in our nation-building task,” Seema Mustafa, a writer on social issues who heads the Center for Policy Analysis, said Sunday.
“Police haven’t dealt with the issue severely in the past. The message that goes out is that the punishment doesn’t match the crime. Criminals think they can get away with it,” she said.