08/02/2015 11:30 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Horrific Rape Of A Mentally-Challenged Woman In Haryana Shocks India, 8 Arrested

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
ROHTAK, INDIA - FEBRUARY 8: Civil society members headed by two Nepalese organisations conducting candle march, demanding speedy investigation into the gang rape and murder of a mentally challenged woman at Mansarovar park, on February 8, 2015 in Rohtak, India. Police say they are investigating the case and that they will catch the guilty soon. The candle light vigil also protested the perceived inaction of the police in the case, given that no arrests have been made after the victim was found dead in a field near Bahu Akbarpur village. The woman's body was found without key organs along with sticks, stones and condoms stuffed into her private parts three days after she went missing. (Photo by Manoj Dhaka/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Shock and outrage have erupted over the horrific rape and murder of a mentally-challenged Nepali woman in the town of Rohtak in Haryana. On Monday, the police arrested eight people, including a Nepali, in connection with the case.

Over the weekend, civil society groups were joined by the public in holding a candle light vigil, a protest march and staging dharnas in Rohtak, around 80 kilometres from Delhi, where residents have also complained about initial police apathy in the case. On Monday, however, people on social media pointed out that this brutal rape-murder had not unleashed the kind of streets protests that were seen in the aftermath of the Delhi Gang Rape in December, 2012.

The 28-year-old woman, who was living with her sister in Rohtak, was reported missing on Feb. 1. Three days later, her mutilated body was found dumped in a field near Bahu Akbarpur village on the Rohtak-Hisar highway. The post-mortem report said that objects had been shoved into her body. Doctors of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak said that stones, condoms and blades were found inside her. Some of her internal organs were missing.

The Hindu reported that Director-General of Police, Y.P. Singhal, said the Nepali national, Santosh, played a key role in the crime. The remaining seven accused were all residents of the same village and the police are still searching for one more suspect.

The gruesome nature of the rape has reminded many of the Delhi Gang Rape, two years ago, in which the victim was brutally assaulted with an iron rod in a moving bus. She died after battling her injuries for two weeks.

Outrage over the rape is being expressed on social media platform, Twitter, where #RohtakRape and #Rohtak has been trending since Sunday.

PGIMS's forensic medicines department head Dr S.K. Dhatterwal said two stones were inserted into the slain woman's anus. Doctors took five hours to conduct the autopsy on her decomposing body. "Her face was eaten by animals; her lungs and heart were found missing. Also, her skull had fractured and there were injury marks on both her thighs and chest,” said Dhatterwal.

"There was a 16cm long and 4cm wide stick-like article in her vagina. We presume that a longer stick was used and it may have broken inside her. We also found a number of condoms in her vagina,” he said.

The victim is from the Vardia district in Nepal.

“We want the culprits to be hanged. This is not just about my sister. It’s about every daughter and daughter-in-law. But the police investigation is too slow,” said the victim’s sister, who works as domestic help.

The Haryana police has said that she was raped and murdered. The state government has formed a Special Investigative Team to nab the culprits. The police have initially announced a cash reward of Rs. 1 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the culprits. On Monday, DGP Singhal increased the reward sum from 1 lakh to 5 lakh, ANI reported.

Leader of the opposition Kiran Chaudhary from the Congress Party slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party state government over the rape. "Though the heinous and gruesome crime was committed a week ago, the SIT is yet to catch the culprits who are still at large. It is time the BJP government woke up from its deep slumber and acted to protect people's life and limbs," she said.

Messages on Twitter, expressing shock and sadness, continued to pour in on Monday.