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Dacoits beat couple to death, rape minor niece in agruesome attack in Mewat near Gurugram

ABOUT half a dozen men battered a couple to death and gang- raped two female relatives including a minor in the national capital region's Mewat district on Wednesday night with the incident prompting widespread revulsion.

One of the sexual assault victims told the police that she and her three cousins were asleep inside their house in Dhingeri village and her uncle and other family members were sleeping outside when she heard loud screams around midnight.

The men who had barged into the dwelling tied up the family members and hit them with iron rods and sticks. Three of them then took turns to rape the complainant, who is married, and her 16-year-old cousin. Haryana Police suspect the crime may have been committed by one of the notorious kachcha-banian gangs whose members attack wearing only underclothes and often mask their faces. They rub lubricants on their body, which makes it hard for anyone to catch them. The robbers ransacked the house, searching for valuables and cash. According to the complainant, one of the attackers was carrying a country-made pistol. She confirmed that at least two of the men were in underclothes and drenched with oil. One of the family members managed to flee and informed the villagers. The crime has evoked comparisons in media with the gang rape of a woman and her minor daughter in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district last month when the victims were dragged out of their vehicle at gunpoint on a major highway and sexually assaulted over several hours. Sources say Dhingeri village is just four kilometres away from the nearest police station, which was informed at around 3am. But the cops arrived three hours later. "After raping us the accused locked us in a room and demanded jewellery and other valuables from us," the complainant told authorities. "They scoured the entire house and took away two motorcycles as well." Police have lodged a case under sections 459 (grievous hurt), 460 (trespass), 376 D (gang rape) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Arms Act. Violence against women in India has come under global spotlight since the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a moving bus in the Capital in 2012. That attack sparked mass street protests and forced Parliament to toughen jail sentences for rapists and overhaul policing procedures. But many women say daily indignities and abuse continue unabated and that the new laws have not made the streets any safer. "We reached the spot in the morning with sniffer dogs and a forensic squad. Two of the victims were lying on a bedstead with severe head injuries," said the area's police station house officer, Kamlesh. "Five others including the two gang-rape victims were admitted in Mewat's Nalhar Medical College and their condition is said to be stable." Sources say the house is situated near the Manesar-Palwal expressway with no toll tax point and little police patrolling in the area and highway robbers as well as cow smugglers are active here at night. Haryana's additional director general of police (law and order), Muhammad Akil, will reportedly oversee the investigations. Cops suspect that highway robbers may have committed the crime and used the signal-free expressway to escape.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Aug 26, 2016
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