A 19-year-old student in Bhopal, studying for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), was tied up and gang-raped for three hours on Tuesday in the busiest part of the city by four men who took tea and gutka (tobacco) breaks in between.
Prolonging the horror, the police allegedly sat on the woman's complaint for hours and refused to investigate until she and her parents found two of the rapists and dragged them to the police station.
The woman was assaulted near the city's Habibganj Railway station, and just about 100 metres from a railway police post. She usually took a train from the station to her hometown about an hour away, after her coaching classes for the IAS.
That evening, the police say, she decided to take a shorter route when around 7 pm, she was grabbed by one of the accused, Golu Bihari, who is out in bail in the murder of his daughter. Golu and his brother-in-law Amar Bhuntu were drinking when they spotted the woman and dragged her towards a deserted culvert.
As the woman kept fighting her attackers, they hit her, tied her up and raped her. In her complaint, the woman says Golu Bihari left to get cigarettes and tobacco, leaving Amar with her.
The woman says she asked for clothes as hers were torn. Golu Bihari allegedly got clothes, but returned with two more men.
Till 10 pm, the four men took turns to rape the woman, say the police.
When she was finally allowed to leave, they took away her earrings, watch and phone.
The woman walked to a railway police post at the Habibganj station and called her parents - both in the security forces. The next morning, her father took her to a police station, and was redirected to two more.
"They have been booked under sections 376 D (gang rape) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention)," the officer said, adding that further investigation is underway.
A case was registered at the GRP Police Station (Habibganj Railway Station), since on the basis of the complaint lodged by the woman, the area where the crime took place falls under their jurisdiction. The accused have been identified as Golu Bihari, Amar Chhantu, Rajesh, and Ramesh.