BBC: Woman Sexually Assaulted in India as Bystanders Ignored It

October 25, 2017 Updated: October 25, 2017

A woman was sexually assaulted on a busy pavement in broad daylight as people walked by in Vishakhapatnam, India, on Sunday. The incident was filmed and uploaded online.

The BBC reported that the video was shot by a rickshaw driver, and it shows a number of people walking by the assault. A man gets close to the crime and then changes course and gets off the pavement.

“One man made a video while a second man called us to tell us about what was happening,” police inspector GV Ramana told the BBC.

“But by the time police reached there, the rapist had run away. He was identified from the video and we arrested him later that night,” Ramana said.

The woman was identified as someone from the outskirts of the city. Some local outlets reported that she was “mentally ill” but others said that she was enfeebled by hunger.

An edited video shows the assault (Twitter/screenshot)

The suspect, Ganji Siva, was arrested after the video was sent to police, local Indian media outlet reported. According to the Times of India, he was “working as a lawry cleaner and stays in railway New Colony in Vishakapatnam.”

The woman, 43, left her home two days before the assault had taken place and she hadn’t eaten for several days.

“Apparently, she was very weak as she had not eaten for several hours and was sleeping on the footpath under the shadow of a tree, when Siva, in an inebriated condition assaulted her sexually,” K Suresh, who is the police sub-inspector for Visakhapatnam IV town, told the Hindustan Times.

Suresh noted the apathy of passersby.

“Instead, some of them were more interested in capturing the incident on their mobile phones,” he said. “It clearly shows how the people have become insensitive to attacks on women.”

Amnesty International said that Indian officials have not “effectively implemented new laws on crimes against women,” the Daily Beast said in a report last year. In 2011, the report said, there were 24,206 reported rapes per year in India. In 2012, there were 24,923; in 2013, 33,707; in 2014, 37,000. It’s worth noting that many rape cases in India go unreported.