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India announces gang-rape inquiry

December 27, 2012
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India’s government ordered a special inquiry Wednesday into the gang-rape of a student which sparked mass protests, as police announced the arrest of 10 men over another multiple sex assault.

While a wave of angry protests over the December 16 assault on the student in New Delhi subsided, news of a Christmas Eve gang-rape in rural Tamil Nadu again shone the spotlight on the frightening levels of violence against women.

The victim of the attack in Delhi is still fighting for her life while a policeman who was attacked during subsequent protests died of his injuries on Tuesday.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who is also the government’s top spokesman, said that a retired judge, Usha Mehra, had agreed to head a commission of inquiry.

The inquiry would “identify the lapses if any on the part of the police, or another authority or person that contributed to the occurrence, and fix responsibility for the lapses or negligence”, he said after a cabinet meeting.

The victim of the Delhi gang-rape remains in a critical condition in hospital after suffering terrible injuries during her assault on a bus, which began when she and a male companion were picked up after a night out at the cinema.

Police and prosecutors say six men, who were drunk and were joy-riding in an off-duty bus with tinted windows, took turns in raping the student before throwing her off the vehicle.

During her assault, the victim suffered serious intestinal injuries from being beaten with an iron rod.

All six alleged attackers have now been arrested and remanded in custody. [More]

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