The police in Tripura’s capital Agartala on Thursday arrested six of nine men accused of abducting and raping a 32-year-old woman, The Indian Express reported.

The woman, who was in Agartala for the treatment of her child, boarded an auto late on Tuesday evening to go to Battala, a transport hub in the city. The auto driver, who reportedly knew the woman, did not take the usual route to Battala. When she questioned him, he allegedly claimed he had to run an errand. Then eight men got into the vehicle, and gagged her when she tried to scream for help. They allegedly moved her to a van in Narsingarh, which is almost six kilometres from the city, and sexually assaulted her. They dumped her near Agartala Circuit House, almost four kilometres from the city, around 11.30 pm, the police said.

Passersby found her almost unconscious in the early hours of Wednesday. “The victim’s husband has lodged a complaint against nine persons for allegedly kidnapping and raping her,” said police officer Mumtaz Hasina, who is in charge of a women’s police station in East Agartala. “We have arrested six suspects so far. A manhunt is going on for the others. The detainees will be produced before the chief judicial magistrate’s court today [Thursday].”

Her husband, however, has accused the police of delaying the registration of complaint. He has alleged that it took him more than an hour to get the police to file a complaint as he was made to run between three stations.

The woman has been admitted to Tripura Medical College for treatment, and her condition is stable, according to the police.

The Opposition and women’s organisations have sought strict punishment for the culprits. A team of Opposition leaders, led by former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, met the woman and her family members at the hospital on Wednesday. Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Panchali Bhattacharjee visited her. She claimed that such incidents had never happened earlier in the city, Northeast Now reported. “As per our information, one powerful BJP MLA was pressurising the police not to take FIR from the victim,” alleged Congress leader Subal Bhowmik. “So, the police did not want to register the case earlier.”

State Human Rights Organisation chairperson Purushottan Roy Barman said: “This incident reminds of the Delhi’s Nirbhaya case.”

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pratima Bhowmik said exemplary punishment should be given to the culprits. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who is not in the state at the moment, has reportedly asked the director general of police to arrest all culprits at the earliest.

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