UP: Key accused in Dalit woman’s gangrape in Jewar arrested

Noida: Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar district on Wednesday said they have arrested the key accused in a case of gangrape of a 55-year-old Dalit woman in Jewar three days ago.

The woman was allegedly raped by four men, who dragged her to the open fields near her village at gunpoint and took turns to force themselves on her on Sunday morning.

One of the accused was arrested on Monday.

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The incident has snowballed into a political controversy with opposition parties such as the BSP and the Congress hitting out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the issue of women safety.

“Accused Mahendra was arrested on Wednesday from a spot near his village in Jewar. He was picked up by a joint team of the Jewar police, the Special Operations Group and the SWAT,” a police spokesperson said.

“A reward of Rs 25,000 was announced on information leading to the arrest of Mahendra in the wake of the incident in which another person has already been arrested and sent to jail,” he added.

An FIR in connection with the incident has been lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 376D (gangrape), 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation) and 506 (criminal intimidation), police said.

Sections under the stringent Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 have also been invoked in the case, they added.

Mahendra, according to the police, was also booked for house trespassing and theft in the past.

He is the only named accused in the FIR. Of the three other accused, one was arrested on Monday after the rape survivor identified him from a picture shown to her by the police.

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