x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

India announces gang-rape inquiry

India's government has ordered a special inquiry into the gang-rape of a student which sparked mass protests, as police announce the arrest of 10 men over another multiple sex assault.

NEW DELHI // India's government ordered a special inquiry yesterday 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 gang-rape in Tamil Nadu on Monday 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.

The finance minister, Palaniappan 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.

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 joyriding 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.

In the attack in Tamil Nadu, 10 men overpowered the male companion of a 20-year-old woman in the Cuddalore district on Monday and then took turns raping her for two hours.

"The victim had gone to the bank of a river with her boyfriend on Monday evening when the couple was attacked," district police chief A Radhika said by telephone from Cuddalore.

"We arrested the 10 suspects on Tuesday and charged them with rape and also booked them under [tribal protection] laws because she was a tribal," Mr Radhika said.

The officer said the woman was in stable condition in hospital and was receiving "basic medical treatment".