A teenage girl in India who is alleged to have survived a rape has been reportedly assaulted for a second time after she was used by police as ‘bait’ to catch her attacker.
The girl, a 17-year-old from Jalna, a city 400 kilometres from Mumbai, had allegedly been raped by two men at knife point on 7 July after she went to meet a man she encountered on Facebook, according to a report on the NDTV website. The men also stole her mobile phone, it is claimed.Police then reportedly sent her back to the scene on two occasions in a bid to capture her alleged attackers.
On the first occasion police followed too closely and an arrest could not be made, while on the second occasion a “miscommunication” meant they did not follow her at all.
According to police officers quoted by The Indian Express on the second occasions, the girl received a call from a man, two days after the first alleged attack, saying that he would return her mobile if she met him at Ambad Chowk, a part of Jalna.
“Assistant Police Inspector Vinod Ejjapawar of the local crime branch immediately deployed two teams of police officers in civil clothes at Ambad Chowk and at Mantha Chowk near the house of the victim,” the paper reported an unnamed police officer as saying.
But police said they were unaware that the girl had left her house by motor scooter to meet the man and as a consequence she approached him alone.
The unnamed officer quoted by The Indian Express said that the man “stopped the victim and asked her to get off the road with her headlights switched off. The victim under the assumption that she was being escorted by the police, obliged but later learnt that she had no police official tailing her movements”.
Police later arrested two men. The men were identified as Nitin Savle, 19, and Sanjay Havare, 21, according to The Indian Express.
NDTV quoted Vishwas Patil, a police inspector in the Aurangabad district, as saying: “It is wrong to use a victim, especially a minor victim, as bait.”
He said that Ejjapawar had been suspended pending an investigation.
There are an increasing number of reported rape cases in India and Indian police and officials are routinely in the news for a lack of sensitivity in dealing with them.