Police stoned in India after rape of woman

Thiruvananthapuram, May 4

Police in India’s southern state of Kerala faced stone-throwing protesters demanding justice over the rape, murder and mutilation of a woman as authorities hunted forthe perpetrator of the crime.

Authorities released a sketch of a suspect and said they were looking for a man seen leaving the home of the 30-year-old law student. The victim, from a lower caste, was found by her mother in a pool of blood last week.

Doctors said she had suffered multiple stab wounds and her intestines were pulled out in the April 28 attack in Perumbavoor, 250 km northwest of state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Police questioned seven suspects today but no arrests were made.

Scores of police, some carrying riot shields, were deployed as protesters marched to Perumbavoor’s police headquarters. Police baton-charged the crowd as a group of protesters tried to break into the police chief’s office.

“We can understand that people are very angry but we have very little evidence to find the accused,” said Additional Director General of Police K Padmakumar. “We are doing our best.”

The case has evoked comparisons in the media with the gang rape and torture of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi in 2012. Reports of a second alleged gang-rape of a 19-year-old student triggered fresh outrage in the state that is in the midst of an election for a new state assembly.

The rape cases quickly turned into a political issue as local leaders demanded an investigation. Kerala’s CM Oommen Chandy said he would introduce new anti-rape rules to avoid lapses in investigations.