Woman raped and killed in Rohtak, blades and stones found in body
Women protest against rape in a rally in New Delhi. India has one of the worst records when it comes to women's safety. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
A mentally challenged Nepalese woman was brutally raped and murdered before her body, with blades and stones shoved inside it, was dumped in a field along the Rohtak-Hisar highway in Haryana, police said on Sunday.
The incident was the latest in a string of savage sex attacks in northern India and triggered protests and widespread revulsion.
A police team led by senior officials on Sunday combed the fields near Bahu Akbarpur village where the body of the 28-year-old woman was found on February 4. A Forensic Science Laboratory team also visited the area and reportedly collected vital clues, officials said.
Senior police officers inspect the spot where the stone-shoved body of the raped and murdered Nepalese woman was found at Bahu Akbarpur village in Rohtak on Sunday. (Manoj Dhaka/HT Photo)
The woman, who was living with her sister at Chinyot Colony in Rohtak while undergoing treatment at a hospital, had been reported missing on February 1. After her mutilated body was found three days later, an autopsy confirmed rape and multiple injuries to the head, chest and thighs.
The autopsy report stated there were several injuries on her private parts. It added that blades and stones had been shoved into the body, said doctors of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak, 85 km from Delhi.
Dr S K Dhattarwal, a senior member of the PGIMS’ forensic department who led the team that performed the autopsy, said the woman was attacked so brutally that her intestines were damaged. Several pointed stones were found inside the body, he said.
Haryana Police have announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the persons who attacked the woman. A special investigation team (SIT) led by deputy superintendent of police Amit Bhatia is using a cyber cell to trace mobile phone users who were active near the scene of the crime in the past few days. On Friday, it rounded up several people for questioning.
Several senior officials, including ADGP (law and order) Muhammad Akil and DIG (state crime branch) Vivek Sharma visited the crime scene on Sunday to take stock of the probe.
Doctors at PGIMS who conducted the autopsy compared the woman’s case to the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012. That incident had sparked a massive public outcry and tougher laws to deter rapists.
Haryana women’s commission chairperson Kamlesh Panchal and vice chairperson Suman Dahiya visited the victim’s family and met Rohtak senior superintendent of police Shashank Anand to find out about the status of the probe.
Panchal assured the family that the commission would demand the death penalty for the attackers. The commission took serious note of an allegation that police had been lax in their investigation. Local MP Deepender Singh Hooda and local legislator Munish Grover too visited the family and promised them support.
Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda condemned the incident and blamed the state government for “lawlessness” in Haryana.
The crime has triggered dissent among the Nepali community. Members of the Mool Pravaha Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj and Pravasi Nepali Sangh Bharat organised a candlelight vigil and protest at Mansarovar Park in Rohtak.
The victim's sister led a candlelit vigil in Rohtak on Saturday and accused police of not doing enough to trace the attackers. "Police have been slow to arrest the perpetrators, they should be arrested immediately and hanged. I want justice for my sister, they have been brutal to her, it's just spine chilling," the sister told the media.