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Indian woman alleges gang-rape for poll work Punishment for helping BJP in ongoing elections

PATNA, India, April 29, (AFP): A Muslim woman in eastern India has alleged she was gang-raped by more than a dozen men because of her work helping the Hindu nationalist opposition in ongoing elections, police said Tuesday. The woman from Jharkhand state 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 for 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 a so-called “minority” wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) designed to attract Muslim voters to the party, which is expected to sweep the ongoing polls. Few Muslims are expected to vote for the BJP, which is being led by hardliner Narendra Modi who remains tarnished by religious riots in his home state of Gujarat in 2002.

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