Police are hunting three men after an infant was murdered and her mother raped in India. Sex crimes have become a focus of public attention in India since a gang of men raped and killed a student in New Delhi in 2012.
In the latest report of sexual violence in India to make international news, a 9-month-old baby died when a man threw her out of a moving autorickshaw before he and two others raped her mother, police said Tuesday. The crime occurred after the woman, whom police described as about 20 years old, boarded the autorickshaw in the suburbs of the capital, New Delhi, on May 29.
"We are interrogating several people and should be able to progress further in the case today, including making possible arrests," Sandeep Khirwar, the commissioner of police in the Gurgaon suburb, told the French news agency AFP on Tuesday.
The men began harassing the woman as soon as she sat down, Khirwar said. When her baby daughter started crying, one of the men flung the child out of the vehicle. The baby died from her head injuries.
"The suspects sexually assaulted the woman in the autorickshaw as it moved on deserted roads in the area," Khirwar told the German news agency dpa. "It is a very heinous incident. We have formed a special investigative team and hope to arrest the three accused soon."
A gruesome record
India has a gruesome record on rape, with New Delhi alone registering 2,199 cases in 2015 - an average of six a day. Authorities receive reports of about 35,000 rape cases every year, but advocates estimate the number of attacks much higher, with victims wary of how officials might deal - or not - with their complaints and the social stigma assigned to survivors of assaults.
The latest incident comes shortly after two other high-profile rape cases in the state of Haryana. Last month, police arrested a man accused of raping and killing his ex-girlfriend by smashing her head with bricks before running her over with his car. He reportedly had several accomplices who also raped the woman.
The other case came to light after a doctor pronounced a 10-year-old girl five months pregnant after her step-father repeatedly assaulted her. A court later granted the girl permission to have an abortion despite a law that prohibits terminations beyond 20 weeks.
mkg/ls (AFP, dpa)