A gang of a dozen robbers gang-raped a 35-year-old Noida woman and her 14-year-old daughter for close to three hours near Bulandshahr late Friday night. The rape survivors were headed for Shahjahanpur from Noida and driving down the Delhi-Kanpur National Highway 91 with four of their family.
The family had started from their Sector 68 home after midnight and were going to attend the terahnvi (rituals held 13 days after a death) of a relative. As they neared Dostpur village, the robbers who were hiding in the bushes along the road flung an iron rod at their car that hit it with a clang. The driver slammed the brakes and got down to check for damages. This was when the attackers emerged and took the family at gunpoint.
The robbers forced the driver to pull off the road and drive into a slushy field, isolated the four others of the family and gang-raped the woman and her daughter. Later, they snatched Rs 11,000 and some jewellery from the victims and melted into the darkness. The family remained stranded on the deserted stretch, their car stuck in the mud. On Saturday morning, the distraught family managed to reach the nearest police station and lodge an FIR.
“We have formed six teams, three of them headed by circle officers, to probe the case and have launched a manhunt,” DIG (Meerut range) Lakshmi Singh said.
“A case has been lodged against unknown men under Sections 376 D (gang-rape), 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) and 395 (punishment for dacoity).” A medical examination of the rape survivors has been conducted and the UP Special Task Force’s help sought, Bulandshahr SSP Vaibhav Krishan added.
As news of the incident spread, there was an outpouring of anger from locals. Subsequently, the Kotwali Dehat station officer Ram Sain Singh and night duty officer Lalit Kumar were suspended. An inquiry will be initiated against circle officer (city) Himanshu Kumar. This departmental probe will be conducted by the SP (crime), Ghaziabad, police said.
DIG Singh said the crime seemed to be the handiwork of a particular Rajasthan tribe. “The modus operandi is quite similar to that employed by a tribe from Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh region.” But she did not rule out the possible involvement of a gang from Ghawana region of Aligarh.
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