A 32-year-old woman was allegedly kidnapped, gangraped and dumped on a road in Tripura’s capital Agartala.
Police said the woman was abducted by an autorickshaw driver on her way back from a hospital on Tuesday night and gangraped by him and eight others before being dumped on a road around 11.30 pm. She was found by passersby in a near-unconscious state in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Tripura Police Thursday arrested six out of the nine accused.
A police officer told indianexpress.com: “The victim’s husband has lodged a complaint against nine persons for allegedly kidnapping and raping her. We have arrested six suspects so far. A manhunt is going on for the others. The detainees will be produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court today.”
All the six have been charged with rape and criminal conspiracy, he added.
The woman, who was visiting Agartala for the treatment of her child, had boarded an autorickshaw after leaving Gobind Ballabh Pant (GBP) Hospital late on Tuesday evening. When she enquired from the driver why he was taking a different route, the driver allegedly told her he had to run an errand. Enroute, eight other men boarded the vehicle midway and gagged the victim when she tried to cry for help. After reaching Narsingarh, nearly six km away from the city, the woman was allegedly moved to a van and gangraped. She was later found dumped four km from the city, the police said.
“The woman is undergoing treatment at a hospital. She is now stable,” the police said.
The autorickshaw driver was known to her, the family members of the victim said. The victim’s husband claimed it took him more than an hour to get the police to register a complaint as he had to run between three police stations. The police, however, declined to comment on the matter.
The incident has led to widespread outrage in Tripura with the Opposition and women’s organisations demanding strict punishment for the culprits.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who is currently out of the state, is learnt to have asked the Director General of Police to take necessary steps to arrest all culprits at the earliest.
A team of Opposition leaders led by former chief minister Manik Sarkar met the victim and her family members at the hospital. CPI (M) leader Panchali Bhattacharjee, who visited the hospital, too, demanded the arrest and strict punishment of the culprits.
Congress leader Subal Bhowmik alleged that a BJP legislator tried to discourage police from registering a complaint on the issue.
Tripura Commission for Women chairperson Barnali Goswami said a delegation from the commission met the victim at the hospital. She demanded capital punishment for the perpetrators.
Tripura Human Rights Organisation (THRO) chief Purushottan Roy Barman said: “This incident reminds of the Delhi’s Nirbhaya case.”
Earlier in August, a woman was kidnapped and gangraped on the outskirts of Agartala city. Two persons were arrested in the case.
According to the state Home Department records, 809 crimes against women were registered from April 01, 2018 till July 31, 2019. These include 23 bride deaths, 222 abductions, 32 dowry deaths, 240 rape, 117 child and minor rapes and three cases of rape and murder.