A 35-year-old woman and her 14-year-old daughter have been raped by a gang of highway robbers in India as they travelled to a funeral.
The pair were with other family members in Bulandshahr in the state of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday when they were attacked.
The robbers threw a rod at the car to make it stop and at gunpoint forced it off the road and into adjoining fields.
The men were tied up while the woman and her teenage daughter were gang-raped.
A male family member said: “We were taken to fields and we were not allowed to raise our heads.
“We repeatedly pleaded them to take our belongings but to release our women but every time, they hit us with sticks, rods and a hammer
“They even did not listen to the cries of woman and my niece.”
The robbers then fled with stolen money and jewellery.
A male family member managed to untie himself and call a friend, who raised the alarm.
The teenage victim’s uncle told reporters: “She is running a very high fever, traumatised and shattered. She may not be able to attend school for a very long time.”
The chief minister of the state has ordered police to catch the gang within 24 hours.
Three people have already been arrested and the police are hunting the other suspects.
Additional Director General of Police Daljit Singh said: “All six family members have identified the three arrested men involved in the crime. Identities of the other gang members are being verified.”
Two of the men arrested have previous cases of looting and robbery against them.
Local police have been severely criticised over the case.
Disciplinary action is being taken against seven officers who have been suspended for neglecting their duties.
The case is now being monitored by the state’s director general of police, Javeed Ahmad.
According to the country’s National Crimes Bureau, 36,735 cases of rape were registered in India in 2014.
Even with stringent anti-rape laws brought in after the gang rape of a 23-year-old Delhi student in December 2012, the number of rape cases being reported continues to rise.
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