A 23-year-old woman was allegedly gang raped after her 9-month-old daughter was thrown out of a moving auto rickshaw in the Indian city of Gurugram, police said on Monday (5 June).

According to the woman, the incident happened on 29 May when she was going to her parents' house with her baby. There were three men in the autorickshaw when she got in. The men began harassing her, and when she resisted, they threw the baby out of the moving vehicle.

The child succumbed to her injuries, according to police.

The woman, who lives in Bass Kusla village near IMT Manesar, has alleged that she was raped on a deserted road near the Delhi-Gurugram expressway, an official said.

The officer said that the woman had first reported that three men had thrown her baby out of the auto rickshaw. She later told them that they raped her as well.

"Earlier, we had registered a case under relevant sections of murder, molestation and common intent against unknown persons after the woman refused to undergo medical examination. Now, she is alleging gang rape. We are investigating it further," a senior police officer told IANS.

Rape is the fourth most common crime in India according to the National Crime Records Bureau figures released in 2013.

The incident came to light just days after a leader of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayam Sewak (RSS) made a bizarre comment on the rape culture in India. Kumar has said that "western" tradition of Valentine's Day is responsible for "rape, illegitimate children and violence against women" in the country.

He also blamed the West for the rise of "Triple Talaq", a controversial Islamic practice in India that allows a man to divorce his wife in minutes by simply saying the word talaq, which means divorce in Arabic, three times.