Assam women beat 'sex-attack politician' Bikram Singh Brahma

Women strip rape suspect Bikram Singh Brahma in Santipur, Assam, India, 3 January (video grab from Indian TV)
Image caption Women tore off the suspect's shirt

Indian police have detained a politician accused of rape after he was set upon and beaten by crowds in a village in Assam state.

National TV showed footage of Bikram Singh Brahma, of the ruling Congress party, being stripped of his shirt and slapped by women.

Police acted after the victim's husband reported the alleged rape.

Pressure has grown for tougher action on rape since a woman was attacked in Delhi on 16 December and later died.

Five men have been charged with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old, whose name has not been released.

The government has set up a committee under a retired supreme court judge to recommend changes to the law on rape.

Stripped and slapped

The incident in Assam, in north-eastern India, took place in a village in Chirang district, on the border with Bhutan.

According to Chirang police, quoted by the Indian Express newspaper, a man reported that his wife had been raped during the night by Mr Brahma.

The politician allegedly entered the woman's house and raped her at about 02:00 (20:30 GMT Wednesday), according to a police official.

Hearing screams, villagers ran to the house and captured the man, the official told AP news agency.

Indian TV broadcast footage of Mr Brahma surrounded by men and women in a street by daylight.

Some men kick and beat him with what appears to be a stick, before others restrain them. Then women move in, tearing off his shirt and slapping him in the face and on his arms.

A man is later seen spraying graffiti on a car.

Police arrived in the village at noon but the people holding Mr Brahma initially refused to hand him over, according to the Times of India newspaper.

They demanded officers record him confessing to the rape before he was taken away.

Police told the paper they had taken him into custody but had not arrested him, pending the registration of the case.

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