A minor girl was allegedly gang-raped by four teenagers who also badly beat up a youth she was going with.
The incident took place in eastern Assam's Dibrugarh district and close to a national highway at around 10 pm on Saturday. A police patrol spotted the duo about an hour later and took them to a hospital.
The police picked up three of the four accused within hours of the incident. Two of them are students of higher secondary classes while the third is XII-passed. The fourth is absconding and not much was known about him. The police picked up the three accused from his rented house.
"The girl was travelling to Panitola, around 40 km away from Dibrugarh, in an auto-rickshaw. She was accompanied by a youth of her neighbourhood whom she later identified as her brother. When they were about to reach a place called Banipur, which is around six km from Dibrugarh, the driver dumped them for reasons not known. Moments later, the four accused appeared there and committed the crime by taking her to a nearby jungle," additional superintendent of police Hiranya Barman told dna quoting the girl.
In an FIR lodged with the police, the girl has named all four of them as accused.
"She alleged that the accused had badly beaten up the youth she was with. After assaulting him, she said they had thrown him into a pond and took turns to rape her," Barman said.
However, the accused denied they had raped the girl. "They said they had only beaten up the youth on finding him in a compromising position with the girl," Barman said, adding "We are awaiting the medical report".
Several organisations, particularly student bodies, have condemned the incident and demanded immediate action against the accused.
There has been an alarming spurt in cases of rape in Assam in recent years. Rape cases shot up to 1,960 last year from an annual average of 1,707. The figure has crossed 1,200 so far this year.