In the latest shocking incident of sexual violence against women in India, a 16-year-old rape victim was tied and paraded with her suspected attacker in a village in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Indian media reported on Monday.
The teenaged girl was allegedly raped by a 21-year-old man on Sunday in Madhya Pradesh's tribal Alirajpur district following which villagers tied the suspect and the victim with ropes and paraded them in public, The Indian Express reported, quoting police.
A video showed the girl and the suspect being forced to walk in tandem and beaten in public in the village, while some men around them chanted slogans of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai (Long Live Mother India)”. The clip sparked outrage on social media after it went viral.
The girl was rescued by police, while six people, including her suspected rapist and five villagers, were arrested.
The rape victim's family members were among those who paraded her with the suspect to shame her, NDTV reported.
Two cases were registered on the complaint of the victim — one against the 21-year-old rape suspect and the second against family members of the girl and villagers for parading her in the village and beating her.
The Express quoted a police officer as saying that the suspect was married with two children.
Crimes against women in India have been unabated despite tough new laws that were enacted following the 2012 rape and murder of a woman in a Delhi bus that led to an outpouring of anger across the country.
Despite the setting up of fast track courts, cases have moved slowly, for lack of witnesses and the inability of many families to go through the long legal process.
According to National Crime Records Bureau figures cited by the BBC, police recorded 33,977 cases of rape in India in 2018 — that works out to a rape every 15 minutes. However, campaigners say the actual numbers could be much higher as many cases are not even reported.