Indian woman gang-raped after being quarantined alone in school

Published April 26, 2020
Indian health workers walk inside a containment zone in Hyderabad on April 26. — AP
Indian health workers walk inside a containment zone in Hyderabad on April 26. — AP

An Indian woman was allegedly gang-raped in a school in the desert state of Rajasthan where she had been quarantined for a night by the police amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, a police official said on Sunday.

The incident occurred last week when the victim, a daily wage earner, sought shelter at a police station after walking alone for miles and losing the way to her native village.

In the absence of a quarantine centre, local police housed her for the night in a school building, where she was allegedly raped by three men.

“Three local men who raped the woman inside the school on April 23 have been arrested and sent to jail,” Parth Sharma, a deputy superintendent of police in Sawai Madhopur district in Rajasthan and the investigating officer in the case, told Reuters by telephone.

According to the Times of India, the victim had been stuck in Sawai Madhopur for a month due to the lockdown and had decided to walk to her residence in Jaipur.

The victim, aged between 40-45 years, said in a statement to the police that she had been walking for several days before she reached a village where she was raped.

Sharma said the woman had been sent to a local quarantine facility to get tested for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

“We don't know how long she was on her own for, and who she came into contact with, and her test results are not yet known,” he said, adding that a junior police official had been suspended for negligence.

"The woman was kept in a government school alone by the villagers despite the fact that the local administration asked them not to do so," TOI quoted a police official as saying.

"The villagers were worried she may have the coronavirus because of which they wanted to keep her isolated," the report added.

The nationwide lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month to contain the spread of the virus prompted tens of thousands of workers who lost their jobs in cities to walk for days in desperation to reach their homes in rural India.

Read: Stranded by virus lockdown, India migrant workers walk home

Many of them are now in overcrowded quarantine centres and authorities are struggling to cope.

Experts fear that the world's biggest lockdown has not been able to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and country has begun to see a surge in cases with testing being ramped up.

India, with a population of 1.3 billion, has reported 26,496 cases of Covid-19, and 824 deaths.

Despite stringent laws, rape occurs every 20 minutes, on average, according to federal crime data.

Opinion

What a tangled web

What a tangled web

So poorly kept is this secret about the opposition’s real hopes and no plans that even the government has figured it out.
Climate threat over South Asia
Updated 26 Oct 2021

Climate threat over South Asia

Water shortages, drought, floods or landslides and tsunamis are not constrained by national boundaries.
Losing heritage
26 Oct 2021

Losing heritage

It’s not a good idea to turn Mohatta into a college.
The long impasse
Updated 25 Oct 2021

The long impasse

Management of Pakistan-India tensions is likely to remain the main focus of sporadic backchannel efforts.

Editorial

Perfect in every way
Updated 26 Oct 2021

Perfect in every way

GLORIOUS. Gratifying. Liberating. Pakistan’s thumping victory over India in their opening fixture of the T20 World...
26 Oct 2021

Balochistan CM’s exit

ON Sunday, Jam Kamal Khan Alyani’s name was added to the long list of chief ministers of Balochistan who ...
Minister’s odd logic
26 Oct 2021

Minister’s odd logic

THE government’s contradictions and confusion appear to have no end when it comes to dealing with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.
25 Oct 2021

Party to a vile campaign

THE PTI government’s hostility towards the media and its intolerance for dissent is well known. The target of ...
Financial crisis
Updated 25 Oct 2021

Financial crisis

DESPITE having progressed to ‘very good step’ and being ‘close to concluding the agreement’ a few days back,...
25 Oct 2021

Morals and Pemra

TIME and again, Pemra has come under fire for issuing arbitrary instructions to TV channels on matters ranging from...