The National Commission for Women on Thursday said the Haryana Police acted slowly to trace and arrest those accused in the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman last week in Rewari district, reported PTI. A three-member fact-finding team visited Rewari to take stock of the police investigation.

The police did not seal the crime scene, which may have led to destruction of evidence, said the team in its report. The special investigation team monitoring the probe sealed the spot only after persuasion by the fact-finding team, said NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma. The SIT also told them that a forensic team had earlier collected samples from the site.

As many as three men had allegedly raped the woman after kidnapping her while she was on her way to a coaching class. The woman’s father told reporters that though she has named three people in the complaint, around eight to 10 people may have sexually assaulted her.

On Sunday, the Haryana Police arrested one of the three main accused. Two other people were also arrested earlier. The three were sent to five-day police remand.

The NCW team said that there was a delay on part of the police in filing a zero first information report. A zero FIR can be filed at any police station and is later transferred to the relevant police station.

“The zero FIR was lodged at 3.30 am on September 13,” said Rekha Sharma. “However, the FIR was transferred only at 7.15 pm on September 13, therefore, there was a delay on the part of Rewari police in taking prompt action to trace and arrest the alleged accused.”

A woman sub-inspector posted at the women’s police station in Rewari was also suspended on Monday for delaying action against the accused, reported The Times of India. However, Sharma said the suspension would not solve the problem of the delay.

The team said that the complainant, being treated in a general maternity ward, had been given no privacy. “There was a constant flow of public to the hospital and the victim, who was already traumatised, there was no privacy for her,” said Sharma.

A counsellor will now stay with the woman around the clock.