A 20-year-old woman was kidnapped on Wednesday, allegedly raped by her neighbors, and paraded on the streets in Delhi’s Shahdara district, with the accused cutting her hair and forcing her to wear a garland of slippers around her neck.
Police said they arrested seven women and arrested two boys from the accused family. Two other suspects are on the run.
Police said the motive appeared to be personal enmity. “We are told that one of the accused’s family members, around the age of 15 or 16, stalked the woman and also proposed to her, which she declined. On November 12 last year, he left home and allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. The family blamed the woman and wanted revenge,” an official said.
In one of the videos of the incident, a group of women can be seen beating the victim while they are showing her off. Neighbors and locals gossip, nobody steps forward to intervene. As the videos spread, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, MP from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir, and Swati Maliwal, head of the Women’s Commission in Delhi, pledged all the help to the victim’s family.
In her statement to police, the woman claimed she was home with her two-year-old child on Wednesday when some of the defendants allegedly stormed into her home, abducted her and took her to her home in Shahdara.
She claimed a group of men locked her in the house and raped her while the women “instigated” the men and later beat them with sticks. They also blackened her face and led her with a garland of slippers around her neck.
The woman’s sister told The Indian Express that she realized on the day of the incident that she was being followed by members of the accused family.
“Around 11 o’clock I went out to meet my sister who lives a few kilometers away. I felt persecuted, but I ignored it. When I reached her house, a couple of men broke in and threatened to kill my sister and her baby. I hastened to save the child; They grabbed my phone and took my sister away. I locked myself in the room for a while. When I got out they were gone. I went home and found my sister being paraded in the streets. Everyone cheered. I called the police,” she claimed.
Police said they received a PCR call around 1 p.m. DCP (Shahdara) R. Sathiyasundaram said, “Our team rushed to the scene and found that a group of people were leading a woman on the street and beating her. We rescued the woman and took her to the police station where her statement was taken.”
Police said a case against 11 people was registered under sections of illegal detention, kidnapping, gang rape, physical and sexual assault.
Kejriwal condemned the attack on the woman, saying in a tweet: “Where do the criminals get such courage? I call on the Union Interior Minister and the LG to instruct the police to take strict measures and pay attention to the law and order situation. Delhiites will not tolerate such heinous crimes and criminals at any cost.”