Outrage has erupted over yet another high-profile case of gang rape in India, as the country was jolted by the news that 17 men had been arrested for allegedly raping and molesting a hearing impaired 11-year-old girl repeatedly over the course of seven months. The girl, who lived with her parents in a gated community in Chennai, India, was targeted by employees of the apartment complex who allegedly drugged her, filmed themselves raping her, and threatened at knifepoint that they would either kill her or release the videos if she ever told her family.
Police said they learned about the horrific crime after the girl confided in her sister that she was suffering severe stomach pain, before eventually admitting that “she was raped, sometimes even gang raped by the men working in the apartment they lived in.” According to police, the abuse started in January after a lift operator, Ravi, 66, raped her in an isolated part of the apartment complex. After the arrests, residents expelled the rest of the complex’s remaining staff members while women living in the gated community volunteered to temporarily serve as guards at the complex’s entrances. Many community members called for the execution of the accused, and furious protesters were seen on video attacking some of the suspects as they were escorted into court by police.
“As a few of the suspects were being brought down the steps inside the court complex, a group of advocates surrounded them and trashed the men and some of the suspects even fell off the stairs and were kicked at,” a police source told The New Indian Express.
India, which was ranked the most dangerous country in the world for women in a recent poll from the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has dealt with a number of similarly disturbing high-profile cases already this year. In June, a 7-year-old was raped and killed by two men, and a teenager was raped and then burned alive for refusing her neighbor’s marriage offer in May. In April, an 8-year-old Muslim girl was raped and murdered in a Hindu temple, and in January, an 8-month-old girl was left horribly injured after being raped by a family member.