6 held in new rape of Indian bus passenger

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NEW DELHI -- Police said yesterday they have arrested six suspects in another gang rape of a bus passenger, four weeks after a brutal attack on a student on a moving bus in the capital outraged Indians and led to calls for tougher laws.

Police officer Raj Jeet Singh said a 29-year-old woman was the only passenger on a bus traveling Friday night to her village in northern Punjab state. The driver refused to stop at her village despite her repeated pleas and drove her to a desolate location, he said.

There, the driver and the conductor took her to a building where they were joined by five friends and they took turns raping her throughout the night, Singh said. The driver dropped the woman off at her village early Saturday, he said.

Singh said police arrested six suspects on Saturday and were searching for another. Gurmej Singh, deputy superintendent of police, said all six admitted involvement in the rape. He said the victim was recovering at home.

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The rape in December of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such tragedies. In her first published comments yesterday, the mother of the student, who died of her injuries, said all six suspects in that case deserve to die.

Five men have been charged with the student's rape and murder and face a possible death penalty if convicted. The sixth suspect, who says he is 17 years old, is likely to be tried in a juvenile court if medical tests confirm he is a minor. -- AP


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