Indian policeman arrested over rape charge

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Bangalore, Karnataka, India: (FILES) This file photograph taken on January 1, 2017, shows Indian police personnel holding lathi sticks as they attempt to manage crowds during New Years Eve celebrations in Bangalore. There is credible evidence that gangs of men sexually assaulted women at a New Years Eve celebration in Bangalore, Indian police said January 4, 2017, adding that they have filed a criminal case over the incident. AFP/STR

January 16, 2017
BANGALORE, India (AFP) - A police officer has been arrested for allegedly raping a mentally challenged woman in southern India, an officer said Monday.

He is accused of raping the 30-year-old woman in a moving vehicle after spotting her walking along a deserted stretch of road and offering her a lift.

"The accused ASI (assistant sub inspector) Umesh has been suspended and arrested after the victim's mother filed a complaint on Sunday evening," police superintendent Isha Pant told AFP.

The driver of the vehicle has also been arrested for abetting the alleged crime and attempting to hide evidence.

The incident in southern Karnataka state took place during a Hindu harvest festival.

"As it was a festive weekend, movement of public or vehicles was much less when the incident occurred," Pant said.

India has been shamed in the past by headline-grabbing levels of sexual assault against women, notably in December 2012 when a student was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi and later died of her injuries.