Girl 'gang-raped twice': New arrests

Three of that group were arrested last week on suspicion of gang-raping the 20-year-old in the north Indian state of Haryana. (Reuters)

Indian police said on Tuesday they have arrested two new suspects accused of raping a student, after she said a group of men who attacked her three years ago had gang-raped her a second time.

The woman, from the lowest Dalit caste, was found unconscious by a highway on July 13 and told police she had been abducted and assaulted by the same five men accused of attacking her in 2013.

Three of that group were arrested last week on suspicion of gang-raping the 20-year-old in the north Indian state of Haryana.

However, police said Tuesday they had registered a separate case, arresting two men who are not connected to the gang implicated in the prior incident, raising the possibility that the latest assault was unrelated.

"We have arrested two men on charges of rape. They weren't named by the victim in her complaint but we found hard evidence against them to arrest them," Rakesh Arya, police chief of Rohtak, the victim's home district, told AFP.

One of the latest two arrested was known to the student and the pair had been in touch on the day she claimed to have been abducted by the gang, the officer said.

"We found CCTV video and mobile call details, which show the girl was with the new set of accused," Arya said.

He said she was seen at a market with the man she knew, and later at a hotel with both the accused.

It was unclear whether the student was coerced into going to the hotel or went willingly.

"She was found in an inebriated condition on a highway and we are investigating what happened at the hotel and how she reached the spot," Arya said.

The two men will appear before a local court on Wednesday along with the three arrested last week, the officer said.

Two of the group whom the student named in her complaint this month were charged over the 2013 incident, but were released on bail while awaiting trial.

The student claimed she had been targeted again for refusing to withdraw the original gang-rape complaint.

The incident has sparked widespread outrage in India, with activists blaming the government for failing sexual assault victims since the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in Delhi in 2012.

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