Police arrested 10 men and charged six of them after two apparently unrelated groups raped a 21-year-old woman in India on Christmas Eve.
Officer Monika Bharadwaj said the men were arrested Thursday after the woman came forward saying she was abducted and raped while visiting a friend in Karaikal, a port city in Pondicherry state.
Bharadwaj said the woman was first kidnapped by three of the accused around midnight Tuesday. She told police she had accompanied two friends sightseeing and a group of three men had been watching them. When they saw that she was alone, they abducted her, she said. They took her to a secluded place and one of them raped her. The men then let her go after nearly three hours of captivity.
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When the woman's friends found her and were trying to escort her to a safe place, another group of seven men assaulted the two friends and abducted the woman. She was then taken to another secluded place, where six of the men took turns raping her.
According to police, the victim did not know her attackers. The men were being questioned to find out whether or not they knew each other.
Two police officers — sub-inspector Venkatachalapathy and head constable Sabapathy — have been suspended for initially refusing to register the woman's complaint.
The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for her injuries. She is said to be in stable condition.
The assault on the woman comes just days after India marked the anniversary of the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in New Delhi. The attack triggered nationwide protests and moved the government to put more stringent laws in place, doubling prison terms for rape to 20 years and criminalizing voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women. Fast-track courts were also created for rape cases.