Video footage of a mob of more than 30 men beating, molesting and stripping a young girl on a busy street in the eastern Indian city of Guwahati went viral on Friday, triggering a public outcry and shaming the police into action.

(Warning: Some readers may find this video objectionable.)

Angry Indians tweeted, blogged and called up news television networks all day decrying the state of women’s safety in India and demanding tough punishment for the men.

Screenshot of video posted by

“Please identify them. Your near and dear ones could also be victims of these predators. Please identify them and inform the nearest police station,” read the text on a billboard put up by Guwahati residents that showed the faces of the men in the video.

The police have arrested four of 13 men identified from the video .

The local reporter who filmed the attack, Dipya Bordoloi, told a reporter from NDTV 24x7: “It was almost like a gang-rape.”

Even as the video went viral, news came of a ruling, known here as a dictat, issued by a group of village councils in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh banning women under 40 from going out alone after dark. The councils also said young girls must not use cellphones. The measures, they said, would reduce crime.

Violence against women has been on the rise in India in recent months. But police and politicians routinely blame women’s conduct for the violence, advising them to dress modestly and not to go out at night unaccompanied by men.

A recent study rated India as “the worst” for women among the G-20 countries.

Click below to see a gallery of the best and worst countries for women.

View Photo Gallery: A look at women’s status in G-20 countries, based on factors such as domestic violence laws, access to education, workplace opportunities and rights, according to a report by TrustLaw, a provider of legal assistance and information.

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