A few days after the Indian Supreme Court ruled that the criminals behind the infamous Delhi 2012 gang rape will be executed, another brutal gang rape occurred and has the country in fear for its women.
A 23-year-old woman who lived about 30 miles from New Delhi was abducted, gang raped and murdered. The incident occurred on May 9, and the woman wasn’t found until two days later. By then, stray dogs had eaten her face and much of her lower body.
Police say that the woman was kidnapped from her hometown of Sonipat and was then driven to the nearby city of Rohta where she was drugged and gang raped. The rapists additionally tortured her with sharp objects and repeatedly beat her face with a brick in a disgusting attempt to conceal her identity.
The Hindustan Times reports that the men also ran over her body to disfigure the body even further.
SK Dhatarwal, the doctor who performed the autopsy said, “The victim was first intoxicated by mixing sedatives in a soft drink. It is believed that the victim was raped and killed after she fell unconscious. Her head has been crushed brutally, [and] we have also found broken bones. The accused indulged in this brutal act to deface her.”
Police made very quick arrests. Two suspects are already in custody: a man named Sumit Kumar and another who goes by “Vikas.” Police believe that seven men were involved in the rape and murder.
“Sumit has confessed to the crime and told us that they killed the victim after raping her,” an officer told the Mail.
The victim’s family stated that Kumar had stalked the woman after she turned down his marriage proposal. Additionally, the family says that they reported the harassment to police a month prior, but no action was taken. Police deny this.
India’s sexual violence problem is escalating quickly. Comprehensive new laws were passed in 2013 in an attempt to reduce the widespread violence. The death penalty is now a possibility for perpetrators of fatal rapes. Additionally, police must now investigate any and all cases of sexual assault.
Jayshree Bajoria of Human Rights Watch says, “Just because India has passed stricter laws, it can appear like things are getting better. But we haven’t actually seen implementation of these laws. The whole point of making the law stronger was meant to be centered on helping rape survivors, but things haven’t played out as they should have. Unfortunately, these cases are not that rare.”
Bajoria says that many cases go unreported. She believes that the only reason that the recent Sonipat gang rape is receiving attention from the media is because of its close proximity to Delhi, India’s capital.
In 2014, Chief Minister of the Indian state Haryana publically blamed women for the county’s rape problem.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar stated, “”Dressed decently, a boy will not look at her in the wrong way.”
Bajoria says that the country has not yet seen proper implementation of the new sexual violence laws. As of now, India will wait and see if justice will be served in the Sonipat case.