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Rape in Delhi fans NE anguish

New Delhi, Feb. 8: A 14-year-old girl from Manipur was allegedly raped in Delhi last night, fuelling fresh protests today by Northeast students and deepening their feelings of victimhood in a city where many from the community have faced racial attacks.

Police have arrested 19-year-old Ashish “Vicky” Tokas, son of the landlord of “distant relatives” of the girl with whom she has been staying in the south Delhi suburb of Munirka since last year, officers said.

A group of Northeast students, returning to their flats in the neighbourhood, had stumbled on the girl around 2.30am as she sat crying beside a road. She had been unable to find her way back after being allegedly dragged to a vacant house — one of many the father of the accused owns in the area — and assaulted, the police said.

“Medical examination has confirmed rape,” said an officer at the local Vasant Vihar police station, outside which a crowd of mostly Northeast students demonstrated.

Many of them seemed to view the assault in the backdrop of the serial hate crimes against the region’s students in Delhi, the latest being last week’s fatal mob attack on an Arunachal teenager that triggered days of protest.

“These incidents keep recurring because the police haven’t dealt sternly enough with the problems we face every day,” said a protester.

When a group of Aam Aadmi Party volunteers began lambasting Delhi police and their central government bosses for the incident, some of the demonstrators asked them to leave and not politicise the issue.

Officers said the girl’s relatives own a stationery shop. They couldn’t say whether she was a student.

They said the rape took place after 9.30pm when the girl stepped out to buy some household items. “Vicky grabbed her from behind, dragged her to an empty house, beat her up and raped her,” an officer said.

Around 10.45pm, Vicky allegedly took her out and left her on the roadside.

The Aam Aadmi Party issued a statement blaming two of its favourite whipping boys: the police and the Centre.


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