Coronavirus: Woman ‘gang raped’ in India while quarantined in school during lockdown

A woman in India has allegedly been gang raped while quarantined in a school during the country’s coronavirus lockdown, police have said.

The woman, aged in her early 40s, had sought shelter at a police station after walking alone for miles and losing the way to her village in the desert state of Rajasthan.

In the absence of a quarantine centre, local police housed her for the night in a school building, where she was allegedly
raped by three men.

Three men have been arrested and a junior police official has been suspended for negligence in connection with the case.

Detective Superintendent Parth Sharma said the woman had now been sent to a local quarantine facility to be tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“We don’t know how long she was on her own for, and who she came into contact with, and her test results are not yet known,” he said.

A person is raped in India every 20 minutes, according to recent crime data.

India’s lockdown, imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has led to tens of thousands of workers who have lost their jobs in cities to walk for days, desperately trying to get home to villages in rural India.

Many of them are now in overcrowded quarantine centres and authorities are struggling to cope.

With India’s population of 1.3 billion people, experts fear that the world’s biggest lockdown has not been able to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and country has begun to see a surge in cases with testing being ramped up.

Millions of people who have not worked for weeks are now facing hunger, particularly daily wage earners and contract labourers.

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