There is shock in the city of Chennai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu after 17 men were arrested for allegedly raping an 11-year-old-girl, CNN reports.
Anger at the accused was clear when a group of lawyers charged at them as they were exiting court.
The men, who range in age from their 20s to their 60s, could potentially face the death penalty. This is after the government rushed through an emergency law in April introducing capital punishment in rape cases involving minor girls under 12.
That measure was in response to growing public outrage at a string of sexual assaults involving minors.
Now the police say the girl in this latest case suffers from a hearing disability and she was attacked by men who worked in the building where she lives with her family.
The men were employed in security and facilities around the building, and they allegedly began attacking her in January. The attacks only came to light this month when the girl informed her family.
The fact that this continued for so long raises some serious questions for the authorities, and CNN asked the top elected official in Tamil Nadu state who’s responsible for law and order for a comment on this. They haven’t received a response yet.
It all underlines what is a recurring problem in India– the safety of women and girls.
This issue has prompted nationwide protests, and once again, the government promised action to tackle this problem.