A woman was allegedly raped by two men in Assam's Charaideo district while she and her daughter were returning from a hospital, where the family was admitted for Covid treatment.
The woman from the tea tribe community was returning from the hospital after testing negative when the two men kidnapped her, took her to a nearby tea garden and committed the crime, police sources have said.
Two men have been arrested, the police said today.
The incident happened on May 27 and was reported to the police two days later, sources have said.
"Few days ago, our family tested positive for COVID-19 and we are under home isolation for one week. After my father and mother's health worsened, we were admitted to a hospital," the daughter of the survivor said.
"When we tested negative, the hospital authority asked us to go home. We asked for an ambulance to return home, but they denied it. We were discharged from the hospital at 2.30 pm. We asked them if we can stay the night in hospital since there was Covid curfew, but the hospital authorities said no," the daughter said.
"We started walking. Later, two men chased us. We ran but they caught my mother and took her away. I managed to run and informed villagers. After two hours my mother was found," the daughter said.
The distance between the hospital and their village is some 25 km.
"We are looking for the accused. A case has been filed and we are investigating it. A medical test report of the woman is awaited," Charaideo senior police officer Sudhakar Singh said.
Assam Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said ambulances should be made available to Covid-negative patients for returning home.
The Assam Tea Tribe Students' Association has demanded immediate arrest of the accused.
"Due to negligence by the hospital, the incident happened. If the hospital gave ambulance, it would not have happened. They had to walk almost 25 km to reach home and the accused took advantage of the evening hours," a member of the students' group said.