A 19-year-old girl has been left unable to speak after she was drugged, kidnapped and raped by a gang of men in northern India.
The teenager was on her way to a test-preparation course in Mahendragarh when she was abducted from a bus stop on Wednesday.
The girl is believed to have known the suspects so accepted water from them, which she thinks was spiked, when they offered it to her.
She was then driven to a house about 25 miles away where a number of other men arrived. The gang then took it in turns to rape her, according to The Times of India.
She was eventually driven back to the bus stop and dumped, with one of the men phoning her family to tell them to collect her.
The victim was taken to a hospital where she was treated for injuries to her back, shoulders and genitals.
Her mother told the paper: ‘She has severe pain in her throat, and is unable to talk or swallow anything. They probably held her by the throat, which led to this pain.’
Police officer Ashwini Kumar said the 19-year-old victim was in a stable condition following the attack. He added that police know the identity of the suspects, who had switched off their phones and were evading arrests, and have released pictures of three of them in an attempt to find them.
The three have been identified as Pankaj, who is in the army, Nishu and Manish. No arrests have yet been made.
Lt Gen Cherish Mathson told NDTV: ‘If an army personnel is involved in the crime we will ensure that the person is caught and booked for rape. We do not shelter criminals.’
India has been shaken by a series of sexual assaults since 2012, when a young woman was fatally gang-raped on a moving New Delhi bus.
That attack galvanized a country in which widespread violence against women had long been quietly accepted.