A lower-caste law student was attacked last Thursday at her home in Perumbavoor, 220 kilometers away from Kerala's capital, Thiruvananthapuram. Her mother discovered her body in a pool of blood.
"The suspect attacked and murdered her brutally and fled the scene quickly," police investigator Mahipal Yadav told reporters. "There are indications that her intestines came out after severe violation by some foreign object," he added.
Police also suspected the victim was raped, but were awaiting medical results. Officials said the woman probably knew her attacker because there were no signs of forced entry into her home.
The case sparked memories of a gang rape that happened in New Delhi in December 2012, when a group of five men attacked, raped and molested a 23-year-old woman who was returning home from the cinema.
The incident drew public outrage and led to countrywide protests. Rape laws were subsequently changed to enable tougher penalties for offenders and ease procedures for victims.
However, the number of rapes continues to remain very high. Recent figures revealed that 36,735 rapes were reported in the country in 2014. Activists say the actual number could be much higher, because social stigma prevents many women from reporting such crimes.
Last week, the government ordered cell phone manufacturers to include a panic button, which could be used to trigger an emergency call, on every device.
mg/jm (AFP, Reuters)