A Dalit college student in Rohtak, Haryana, was gangraped last week by the same five men who had also assaulted her similarly in 2013 as well.
The girl, in her 20s, was kidnapped by the men when she stepped out of her college, pushed into a car, drugged and raped while she was unconscious. Her body was thrown in a bush afterwards. Passers-by discovered her lying on the road with her clothes in tatters near Sukhpura Chowk and took her to the Rohtak Civil Hospital.
According to her family, the girl was raped by these five men, at least three of whom are from the upper castes, in Bhiwani three years ago. Only two of the five were arrested back then and later released on bail.
Since then, the men have been trying to negotiate a Rs 50 lakh out-of-court settlement with the family and force them to withdraw a case urging for the arrest of the remaining three and the re-arrest of the ones who had been given bail. The family decided to move from Bhiwani to Rohtak after being constantly intimidated by the perpetrators for years.
The five men have been identified as Anil alias Bittu, Raju alias Jagmohan, Sandeep Singh, Mausam Kumar and Aakash. They were booked after a complaint was lodged with the police by the girl. The men are all in their late 20s and former students of the same college as hers. Several Dalit organisations held demonstrations yesterday at the residence of Rohtak MLA, Manish Grove, to protest against this crime.
Rape laws in India were reformed following the gangrape and death of a young woman in Delhi in 2012. But, as is evident from this incident, the reality of sexual violence, especially the impunity with which criminals tend to get away with it in India, remains shocking and inadequately unaddressed.