Senior police officer SK Bhagat said that in the complaint the woman stated “one of the two rape-accused was in relationship with her in 2018, but he physically exploited her, lured her with a marriage proposal. Later, he refused to get married and raped her with another friend,” reported NDTV, a local network.
Police arrested five men Thursday, including the two men who allegedly raped and exploited her last year.
The Indian Express reported the woman is in critical condition, having suffered burns on more than 70 percent of her body, and is being treated at a hospital in Lucknow.
The Washington Post in most cases does not disclose the names of surviving victims of sexual assault. Indian courts have ruled that the names of victims of sexual assault and harassment should not be publicly disclosed.
In 2012, the gang-rape and murder of a young woman on a New Delhi bus made national headlines. Thousands flooded the streets to protest acts of rape and violence against women and girls.
Despite official promises of justice and change, Thursday’s crime is the latest in brutal sex attacks.
Last week, several men allegedly raped and brutally murdered a young veterinarian in the South Indian city of Hyderabad. The event triggered demonstrations over the weekend outside the police station near where the 26-year-old woman’s body was found.
The district of Unnao is located in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, which is known for its violence and deteriorating law and order. Earlier this year, a teenager accused a prominent Unnao politician of raping her in 2017, when she approached him for a job. A month later, in July, she was severely injured in a near-fatal car accident, which left two dead. Police investigated whether the lawmaker was connected to the crash, but he wasn’t charged.
About 33,000 rapes were reported in India in 2017, according to the most recent national crime statistics, marking a decrease from the previous two years. (In 2017, about 100,000 rapes were reported in the United States.)
As The Post previously reported, about 25 percent of such cases in India result in conviction and, advocates say, the vast majority of victims are unlikely to approach authorities about sexual assault. As a result of this underreporting, the country’s official figures might downplay the scope of the problem.
Joanna Slater in New Delhi contributed to this report.