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Another woman alleges gang-rape in India Chief of troubled state vows action after rapes

LUCKNOW, India, June 16, (AFP): A 38- year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped at the weekend in a northern Indian state whose government is under fire over a string of sexual attacks, police said Monday. The woman had gone out shopping for medicine on Friday night when three men lured her to an under-construction house and allegedly attacked her in Uttar Pradesh state, a senior police officer said. “Two of the three accused have been arrested,” senior superintendent L.R. Kumar told AFP. “We are on a look out for the third offender.” The woman lodged a complaint over the attack with police at the weekend in the town of Bisauli, Badaun district.

Badaun is the same district where two girls, aged 12 and 14, were gang-raped and lynched late last month in an attack that triggered uproar over perceived lawlessness in the state. The embattled chief minister of an Indian state under fire for a series of rapes and hangings said Sunday that he has called for a more sensitive police force to tackle growing crimes against women.

The shocking gang-rape and lynching of two low-caste teenage girls and a string of other sex attacks in northern Uttar Pradesh has sparked public outrage, with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav coming under mounting pressure to resign for his handling of law and order. In an interview with AFP, 40-year-old Yadav acknowledged that rapes were a growing problem in his state, often committed by relatives or neighbours.

“I firmly believe that the government must sincerely work to make sure such incidents do not happen. The government should be sensitive about these issues,” Yadav said at his plush residence, which overlooks a sprawling manicured garden. Yadav of the socialist Samajwadi Party became the youngest ever chief minister of Uttar Pradesh — home to more than 200 million people — two years ago promising to rid the area of endemic crime. But the latest attacks on women have put him in the spotlight, with activists calling his government’s failure to protect women shameful. When a reporter probed him about the lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh last month, Yadav retorted: “You haven’t faced any danger, right?”

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