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India arrests 43 in deadly mob attack of rape suspect

NEW DELHI, March 9 (UPI) — Days after a jailed rape suspect was attacked and killed by a mob in India’s northeastern state of Nagaland, authorities on Monday announced the arrest of 43 people.

Nagaland Police Chief L.L. Doungal said the arrests range from arson, rioting, attempted murder and murder. The 43 were allegedly part of a mob numbering in the thousands.

Police have so far identified between 200 and 300 people who were part of the crowd that stormed the Dimapur Central Jail on March 5, forcibly removed Syed Farid Khan, suspected in the rape of a local woman in February, and beat him to death.

More arrests may come, noted Wabang Jamir, a police inspector general in Kohima.

The attack occurred as India begins a frank conversation about the prevalence of rape, motivated by a documentary film on the topic. India’s Daughter, financed by the BBC and Indian television network NDTV, examines a 2012 case in which a New Delhi woman was raped on a bus. The rape received global attention and highlighted India’s seeming indifference toward violence against women. The film was set to air in India but was banned for its “objectionable content.”

On the occasion of International Women’s Day on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote “Our heads hang in shame when we hear of instances of crime against women. We must walk shoulder-to-shoulder to end all forms of discrimination or injustice against women.”

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