India police
Police in India's Jharkhand state are investigating a gangrape case in which a tribal woman and her boyfriend were forced to have sex in front of a gang that later raped the woman - Representational image Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images

A tribal woman in India's Jharkhand state was gangraped by at least six men while she was returning home from a university with her boyfriend, according to a police complaint filed by the boyfriend.

The complaint reportedly stated that a group of up to 20 men first made the couple strip and forced them to have sex in front of them before taking turns to rape the 20-year-old.

Police have arrested 12 people in connection with the gruesome crime and are on the lookout for others. The badly bruised victim, who is undergoing treatment in a hospital in Dumka district, where the crime was committed, is said to be "out of danger".

The shocking incident took place on Wednesday (6 September) evening when the woman and her friend were taking a stroll near their university campus. Six men confronted them and demanded money. They also demanded the girl's phone and snatched it away when her boyfriend refused to hand it over, police said.

The gang then called their friends and nearly 18 to 20 men gathered at the place within minutes. They shamed the tribal woman for dating a man outside the tribe and then forced them to have sex in front of all of them.

Holding the man at knifepoint, some of the men from the group raped the woman and then forced her to bathe in a nearby pond to destroy all physical evidence of the crime, the boyfriend said in his complaint, according to the Press Trust of India.

The couple managed to reach a police station in the night and lodged a complaint against the culprits. Superintendent of Police for the region, Mayur Patel, confirmed to the news agency that 12 people have been arrested on the basis of information provided by the victim and her friend.

A case of gangrape has been registered against the arrested men and their accomplices. An investigation was underway, an officer said.