On the eve of the first verdict in the December 16 gang rape case, a 35-year-old woman was raped and assaulted by five men - two of them policemen - in Noida. Clearly, nothing has changed and women in the national capital region remain as unsafe as ever.
The victim, a resident of Delhi, was visiting a friend at his house in sector 105 on Friday night when the five men - including two Uttar Pradesh Police constables - barged in and raped her after tying up the friend, the police said. After the sexual assault, they reportedly beat her and took away her debit and PAN cards.
The debit card was later used at a petrol pump in sector 82. On the woman's complaint, the police went through CCTV footage at the pump, identified the accused and arrested four of them later that night. A case of rape and robbery was also registered. A medical exam of the victim was conducted and the result is awaited.
Under the stringent new rape law that came about after the Delhi gang rape, policemen convicted of rape face a sentence of not less than 10 years rigorous imprisonment that may be extended to a life term.
In her complaint, the woman identified her friend as a businessman she met through a social website 15 days ago. They decided to meet at his house on Friday.
One of the accused, Arun Kumar, was jogging in a nearby park when he saw her enter the house, the police said. He called up his friend Jeetu, a property dealer, who in turn called the others - Bunty, Bansi Ram Sharma and Subhash.
Sharma and Subhash are constables with the Provincial Armed Constabulary. Both were suspended after registration of the case. Jeetu is on the run.
"While at the police station, the victim received an SMS alert that R3,000 had been debited from her account at a petrol pump. A team was sent. Later, four of the men were arrested and an SUV, motorbike and the debit card seized from their possession. Cameras at the pump captured them swiping the card," said a police officer.