A young woman is in hospital in critical condition after throwing herself off a moving train in an attempt to escape molestation. It’s the latest in a number of incidents that have exposed the vulnerability of women in India.
The 25-year-old woman jumped from the carriage of a moving train after allegedly being molested by a soldier. The attack occurred on Thursday while the train was en route from Darjeeling to Delhi. The man groped her after she had visited the lavatory. After pushing him back, the woman jumped from the Brahmaputra Mail line train. The mother of two is being treated in hospital in the city of Patna.
“Her condition continues to be critical. A team of doctors is treating her. She has suffered injuries to her head and legs,” a police official told the IANS news agency.
A member of the Assam Rifles paramilitary force has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
It comes just weeks after a 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped on a bus in Dehli, while her male companion was severely beaten. She later died from her injuries in hospital.
The male companion has revealed more details of the tragic event. He recounted that in the immediate aftermath of the rape, no one responded to their cries for help.
Police and passersby left the mortally injured female student lying naked and bleeding for almost an hour.
“We kept shouting at the police, 'please give us some clothes' but they were busy deciding which police station our case should be registered at,” the Zee News network reported on Friday.
The allegations were denied by Joint Commissioner of Police (South West range) Vivek Gogia. Citing electronic logs and data from GPS tracking devices, Gogia said that police had received a report about two people lying on the road in a pool of blood at 10:21p.m.
Less than ten minutes later, two patrol vehicles arrived at the scene, with one leaving to carry the pair to a hospital at 10:39pm, the commissioner said. It took the van 16 minutes to reach the hospital.
The police official also said that no argument over jurisdiction occurred between the officers at the scene.
The rape case has resonated with the population as hundreds of thousands took to the streets to voice their anger over the attack and the lack of police response. The crowd demanded punishment for those responsible, as well as new laws to protect Indian women.
The rapists have been arrested. Five of the men detained have been indicted with gang rape and murder, and are likely to face execution. They will face a specially-established fast-track court on Monday. A sixth male is under 18 and will be judged in a juvenile court, despite the victim's family’s plea for an adult trial, as he is believed to been the most brutal of the attackers. The victim's father has also demanded new legislation on sex crimes to be named in honor of his daughter.
In an effort to provide more protection on transport routes and deter gangs operating on trains, India's inspector general said the railway police have stepped up patrols. In 2012, police apprehended nearly 15 gangs and recovered 15 weapons from trains.
The problem of sexual violence against women appears to touch all levels of Indian society, as on Thursday the ruling Congress party in Assam state suspended a politician accused of rape. Police claim that Congress leader Bikram Singh Brahma was visiting the village of Santipur when he entered a local house and raped a woman at 2am. The villagers later attacked the politician and captured the footage on tape.
New Delhi has an infamous reputation as India’s rape capital, seemingly confirmed by a report in the Hindustan Times that documents more than 20 rape cases in the city since December 16th, the day of the rape and brutal murder of the 23-year-old medical student.