Six men arrested for second gang-rape on a bus in India

A 29-year-old woman is recovering at home after being abducted and raped in Punjab

LAST UPDATED AT 13:50 ON Sun 13 Jan 2013

WEEKS after a Delhi gang-rape sparked mass protests across the country, six men have been arrested for another gang rape on a bus in Punjab.

Police said a 29-year-old woman was the only passenger on a bus travelling to her village in northern Punjab on Friday night.

The driver reportedly took her against her will to an isolated location in a district bordering the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, where he, the bus conductor and five other men took turns at raping her throughout the night.

The driver then dropped the woman off at her village early on Saturday. Six suspects were arrested later that day and police are searching for another. All six are said to have admitted being involved in the rape.

The extent of the victim’s injuries is yet to be established but she is understood to be recovering at home.

Seema Mustafa, head of the Centre for Policy Analysis thinktank, told The Guardian that police in India haven't dealt with the issue severely enough in the past.

“The message that goes out is that the punishment doesn't match the crime. Criminals think they can get away it,” she said.

The attack is alarmingly similar to the 16 December gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old student Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi, which fuelled anger and protests across India. Five men have been charged with the student's rape and murder and face a possible death penalty if convicted. The sixth suspect says he is 17 years old.

Jyoti’s mother today spoke out for the first time, telling the The Times of India that all her daughter’s attackers deserved to die. Even the youngest suspect, who might only serve three years in a reform facility if convicted, participated in the most brutal aspects of the rape, she said.

"Now the only thing that will satisfy us is to see them punished,” she said. “For what they did to her, they deserve to die." · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.