A 32-year-old woman was allegedly held captive and gang-raped on Friday night by three persons, including the son of a policeman, in Badaun where the gangrape and hanging of two teenage cousins last month had triggered global outrage.
The incident could spell more trouble for the Akhilesh Yadav-led government in Uttar Pradesh which is in the line of fire following a string of sex crimes in the state after the May 27 assault on the two cousins.
The fresh incident took place after the woman, a resident of Bisauli area here, reportedly went out to purchase medicines on Friday night.
Senior superintendent of police LR Kumar said the woman has alleged in her complaint that she, along with her two children, was taken to an under-construction house by one Himanshu, son of a policeman.
The accused had offered to show her a room that was better than her current rented residence. But after locking her up in the house, the accused returned with two of his associates and the trio allegedly took turns to rape her, the complainant said.
On Saturday, after being released by the accused, the woman informed local residents about the incident and went to the police.
On the basis of the victim's statement, a case was lodged against Himanshu, one Khalifa (alias Pramod) and an unidentified person.
"Three teams have been formed and dispatched to different locations to arrest the accused who are still at large," the SSP said.
The police are awaiting the report of the medical examination conducted on the woman to ascertain the alleged sexual assault.
A spate in crimes against women has been reported from Uttar Pradesh of late, resulting in a big bureaucratic reshuffle in the state government, which has been accused of failing to maintain law and order.
However, that did not do any good for chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who has come under heavy criticism for telling a journalist 'you are safe', after being asked on the law and order situation.
Ruling Samajwadi Party chief and his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, too had in the past faced the music for saying during an election campaign that 'handing death sentence for rape is not fair... boys make mistakes."
Sex crimes continue unabated in the country despite the government tightening anti-rape laws last year in the aftermath of the 16/12 incident, making gang rape punishable by death penalty even in cases where the victim survives. Records show a rape is committed every 22 minutes in India, a nation of 1.2 billion people.