Woman allegedly gang-raped by three men
30-year-old mentally ill woman was brutally gang-raped and had metal objects inserted in her private parts - Representational Image Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

In a disturbing incident, a 30-year-old mentally unstable tribal woman was brutally gang-raped and had metal objects inserted in her private parts in India's West Bengal state on Sunday night (18 February).

Police have reportedly arrested a man in connection with the incident that took place in the South Dinajpore district of the eastern Indian state.

According to the Times of India newspaper, the woman was deserted by her husband a year after their wedding. She had even lost her parents about 10 years ago and was living alone at their house. It is believed that since then, she had been mentally unstable and survived on the mercy of her neighbours and other villagers.

On the day of the brutal crime, the woman had reportedly gone to attend a fair at a neighbouring village, police said. She was picked up by some miscreants on her way back home. They gang-raped her and the offenders even thrust a rod in her private parts, DNA newspaper reported.

The incident came to light after some villagers spotted her under a bridge after which officers were informed.

"On being informed, local police and tribal welfare officers attended to her and sent her to hospital for medical treatment. On the basis of the survivor's statement, one Ramprabesh Sharma of Dehabandh has been arrested for the extremely perverted act. A case has been started and police are considering all angles. We are committed to zero-tolerance in all such cases of sexual perversion and police will take the strongest action," police officer Anuj Sharma reportedly said.

The woman was initially taken to a local hospital, where doctors found traces of metallic objects inside her vagina. Doctors also confirmed that the woman was raped multiple times. She was later moved to a bigger hospital where sources said that she was in a critical condition.

Giving details on her medical condition, Amit Daw, vice-principal of Malda Medical College and Hospital, said: "Her condition does not permit us immediate surgery. There is little fluid in her body. She has been administered emergency life-saving drugs.

"We can only operate after she becomes stable," Daw added.

Local media reports claim that police in the district was trying to cover up the incident, which reminded of the horrific 2012 Delhi gang-rape, dubbed Nirbhaya case, given West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's scheduled visit to the district on Wednesday (21 February).