Indian police arrest eight for 'brutal' Haryana rape and murder

Protests against the gang-rape of a mentally disabled woman in Rohtak, 9 February 2015 Image copyright Manoj dhaka
Image caption There have been widespread protests against the latest incident of rape

Police in India say they have arrested eight men over the gang rape and murder of a mentally ill Nepalese woman.

The 28-year-old woman went missing on 1 February in the town of Rohtak in Haryana state, where she was seeking hospital treatment. Her mutilated body was found in a field on Wednesday.

A post mortem examination has confirmed multiple sexual assaults.

Meanwhile, reports say a Japanese student has been raped by a man in the northern state of Rajasthan.

Police said the man met the 20-year-old student in Jaipur and offered to act as her tour guide. He later took the woman on his motorcycle to a village outside the city and raped her, it is alleged.

The incident comes a month after five men were arrested in eastern India charged with kidnapping and repeatedly raping a Japanese student.

'Horrific case'

On Monday, Haryana director general of police YP Singhal told the BBC that eight of the nine men accused of the the rape and murder of the mentally ill woman have been arrested.

Police said they had confessed to raping and murdering the woman, although the accused were yet to comment,

The doctor who carried out the post mortem examination told the NDTV channel that he had "never seen such a horrific case" in his 29-year-long career.

"The injuries suggest she was hit on the head with a heavy object, became partly unconscious and was then gang-raped. Animals and rodents had eaten bits of the body," Dr SK Dhattarwal said.

The post mortem revealed that stones, blades and sticks were forced inside her during the attack, reports said.

On Sunday, hundreds of people blocked a highway in Haryana and held candlelight vigils in protest against the crime.

Reports said that the woman, who was from Nepal, had travelled to Rohtak a few months ago to live with her sister and receive treatment for depression at a local hospital.

Image copyright Manoj dhaka
Image caption The woman's body was found in a field in Haryana
Image copyright Manoj dhaka
Image caption Candlelight vigils have been held to protest against the attack

"In Nepal too she kept falling in and out of depression. Last year, we finally decided to get her regular treatment," the woman's brother told The Indian Express.

"A friend suggested a doctor in Nainital [in Uttarakhand state] and since then she was on medication. I had purchased all her medicines when she told me she wanted to live with our sister for a while."

She went missing from her sister's home and her body was found in a field by a highway, some 18km (11 miles) away, police said.

The victim's sister, who led the protests in Rohtak, has accused the police of being slow in registering a complaint, a charge the police have denied.

"Police have been slow to arrest the perpetrators, they should be arrested immediately and hanged," she said.

"I want justice for my sister, they have been brutal to her, it's just spine chilling," she added.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the December 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder.

The government tightened laws on sexual violence in 2013 after widespread protests following the attack.

Correspondents, however, say tougher laws have failed to bring down the number of rape cases and a series of high-profile crimes have taken place since then.

Rape cases that have shocked India

  • 23 January 2014: Thirteen men held in West Bengal in connection with the gang rape of a woman, allegedly on orders of village elders who objected to her relationship with a man
  • 4 April 2014: A court sentences three men to hang for raping a 23-year-old photojournalist in Mumbai last year
  • 15 January 2014: A Danish woman is allegedly gang raped after losing her way near her hotel in Delhi
  • 17 September 2013 : Five youths held in Assam for allegedly gang-raping a 10-year-old girl
  • 4 June 2013: A 30-year-old American woman gang-raped in Himachal Pradesh
  • 30 April 2013: A five-year-old girl dies two weeks after being raped in Madhya Pradesh
  • 16 December 2012: Student gang raped on Delhi bus, sparking nationwide protests and outrage