A mother-of-two jumped off a first-floor apartment in east Delhi on Sunday and called up the police to say she was abducted and gang-raped by five men.
Cops have arrested the accused, who claim they brought the woman home for "paid sex" during a Holi party. All the men are in their twenties. Three of them work in a Noida-based BPO, while another is an engineer employed with a top IT services firm. The fifth accused was allegedly known to the woman.
Officers MAIL TODAY spoke to said they are trying it ascertain if it was a "deal gone wrong" but, citing last year's Bollywood courtroom drama Pink, emphasised the importance of consent and that "no means no".
"Allegedly to save herself after being gang-raped by five men, a 28-year-old divorcee and mother-of-two leapt from the first floor of a rented accommodation in east Delhi's Pandav Nagar on Sunday morning," an officer said.
The definition of rape is not restricted to cases where violence is used, or where a man jumps out of the bushes and drags a woman at knifepoint down an alleyway and sexually assaults her, experts say. If one person does not consent to sexual activity and the other doesn't reasonably believe there is consent, then it is an offence.
The woman reported the matter to police at around 5.30 am. "Since then, she has changed her statement twice and is unable to narrate the exact sequence of events," a senior officer said. "We are investigating the case from all angles and all five accused have been sent to judicial custody."
In her statement, the woman told police that one of the suspects picked her up in his car at around 11 pm on Saturday on the pretext of dropping her to her residence in Munirka. But he brought her to a friend's house in Pandav Nagar where five of them raped her, taking turns.
She said she jumped off the balcony to get away and received injuries. She was taken to east Delhi's Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital and discharged after treatment. A medical examination confirmed rape. Officers said both the victim and accused had consumed alcohol.
"When cops interrogated all the accused, they claimed they knew the woman was into prostitution. On Saturday night, they called her to their house in Pandav Nagar to have paid sex for Rs 5,000 during a house party. Once the deal was fixed, one of them - who already knew her - went to pick her. But there was a dispute over money and she jumped off the building and called police," an officer close to the investigation said.
Cops say the woman is unemployed and lives with her two children. Investigators are now scanning her call records and trying to gather CCTV footage.