A 23-year-old Indian student has been allegedly gang-raped inside a private bus in the capital, Delhi, police say.
The woman was travelling with a male friend on Sunday night when they were attacked. They were brutally beaten, stripped and thrown out of the vehicle.
Both have been admitted to hospital. The condition of the woman is reported to be “critical”.
Delhi is often called the “rape capital of India” – police recorded more than 550 cases in the city last year.
The BBC reports that Delhi can be a very difficult city for women, with sexual harassment commonplace and rapes and abduction all too frequent. The capital’s rape figures are higher than for other Indian cities of comparable size, they say.
Police have registered a case and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has promised “strict action” against those responsible.
The woman and her friend had boarded the bus from Munirka area and were on their way to Dwarka in south-west Delhi.
They were returning after watching a film in a mall in south Delhi, police said.
The couple were attacked by “at least four men”, police said. Some reports said the attackers included the bus staff.
On Monday, senior police officer Chhaya Sharma appealed to the public to help identify the owner of the bus.