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New India gang rape attack: police arrest six men

Police have arrested six men accused of repeatedly gang-raping a woman bus passenger in the north of India, in a case strikingly similar to the rape and murder in Delhi which has shocked the nation.

The latest assault is said to have taken place near the city of Amritsar. A police spokesman, Raj Singh, said the 29-year-old woman was the only passenger on the bus as she tried to make her way home to her in-laws' village in Punjab on Friday evening.

According to Associated Press, the driver would not stop at the woman's village and instead drove her to a remote location. The officer said the driver then took the woman to a building where he and five friends took turns to rape her throughout the night, before they dumped her close to her village the following morning. She then made her way to her relatives' home.

Gurmej Singh, deputy superintendent of police, said all six of the men who were arrested had admitted involvement in the rape. He said the victim was recovering at home.

The attack is one of dozens highlighted by the Indian media since the 16 December attack on a Delhi student that triggered national protests and a demand for more efficient and more sensitive policing. Protesters and politicians have called for tougher rape laws, police reforms and a transformation in the way the country treats women.

Seema Mustafa, a writer on social issues who heads the Centre for Policy Analysis, said yesterday: "It's a very deep malaise. This aspect of gender justice hasn't been dealt with in our nation-building task."

Also this weekend, police arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly raping and killing a 9-year-old girl two weeks ago in Ahmednagar in western India, the Press Trust of India reported. Her decomposed body was found on Friday.

Police officer Sunita Thakare said the suspect committed the crime seven months after his release from a nine-year prison term for raping and murdering a girl in 2003, PTI reported yesterday.

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