The victim was first raped on January 29 this year, said Dinkar Munke, a junior officer of Mandape police in Dombivli city, which is neighboring Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra.
Munke said the rape was filmed, then the video was repeatedly blackmailed to her for the next eight months. She was allegedly raped by a total of 33 criminals, including two teenagers, with the abuse lasting until this week.
Munke told Granthshala on Friday that when her family – who still didn’t know what was happening – found out, they brought the victim to the police station on Wednesday and filed a complaint.
The 26 men were arrested under the country’s penal code, and separately under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) law, which carries long prison sentences.
Dombivli police is still searching for the remaining seven people, who have also been charged.
Since the 2012 protests, when millions of women demanded stronger laws and protections for women, the government has introduced new laws and stricter punishments. But, activists say, the problem persists, driven by difficulties in reporting, poor enforcement by authorities, deep gender inequality and caste discrimination.
Reported rapes have increased over the years, potentially due to greater awareness of the issue. Over 32,000 were recorded in 2019, up from 25,000 in 2012. But many rapes go unreported, which means the actual number could be much higher.
The recent rape incidents in Mumbai have prompted the police to announce new measures. Police will set up women security cells in every police station in the city and deploy patrolling vehicles in hotspots for crimes against women, the police announced on September 14.
Other measures would include making a list of sex offenders five years in advance and having officers undergo training in dealing with sexual assault victims, who would then complete a test before joining the force.
Credit : www.cnn.com