Muslim woman alleges being gang-raped for helping BJP in Lok Sabha elections

A Muslim woman in Jharkhand has alleged she was gang-raped by more than a dozen men because of her working for BJP in ongoing Lok Sabha elections, police said on Tuesday.

The woman has filed a complaint with police that a mob attacked her in her home on Monday and also assaulted her 13-year-old daughter. Her husband was allegedly handcuffed during the attack.

Anurag Gupta, a senior officer and spokesman for Jharkhand police, confirmed an investigation had started but said it was too soon to confirm her allegations of a political motive behind the attack.

“An investigation from all angles is on and it is very difficult at present to say the exact reason behind the incident,” Gupta told AFP.

The victim, in her 30s, was part of ‘minority’ wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) designed to attract Muslim voters to the party.

Modi, who is leading the race for PM’s post according to poll surveys, has been attacked over the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Despite criticism that he failed to contain the violence, he has been cleared of any personal wrongdoing.

Women’s issues are high on the agenda in the parliamentary elections following the fatal gang-rape of a student on a New Delhi bus in December 2012, which touched off a national debate about sexual violence.

But fewer than a fifth of the candidates standing for the BJP or the ruling Congress party are women, according to an analysis by AFP.

In the current Parliament women hold only 11 per cent of seats in both houses.

The victim in Monday’s assault also alleged the attackers fled with Rs 30,000 in cash and jewellery worth over Rs 200,000.

Police inspector TN Singh in the police station closest to the victim’s home confirmed the gang-rape complaint to AFP.

He said villagers had used the loudspeaker of the mosque to alert others to the assault, after which the attackers fled.

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