Three police teams have been formed to arrest the accused who are reportedly absconding.

Two men in Uttar Pradesh, including a former village head, gangraped a 20-year-old Dalit woman at gunpoint at her residence in Kanpur Dehat district, the state police said on Sunday, PTI reported. Three police teams have been formed to arrest the accused who are reportedly absconding.

“The incident took place a week back, but the police were informed about the alleged gangrape on Sunday,” Superintendent of Police (Kanpur Dehat) Keshav Kumar Choudhary said. The accused barged into her house when she was alone, and took turns to rape her at gunpoint, according to the first information report filed by the woman’s parents.

Before leaving, the men allegedly threatened her of dire consequences if she told anyone about the incident. The woman later confided the incident to her mother when she returned home, said the police.

A case has been registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 against the accused, Choudhary said. Three police teams headed by the station house officer of the police station concerned, circle officer and additional superintendent of police apart from SWAT team had been formed to arrest the absconding accused, he added.

The incident comes at a time of nationwide outrage and protests against the death of a Dalit woman in Hathras, after four men from the upper-caste Thakur community raped and tortured her. In the events that followed, the Uttar Pradesh government forcibly cremated the body of the woman even as her family was detained in their home by the police, with the aim to stop the incident from becoming a focus of protests.

Despite initial medical reports pointing to sexual assault in the case, the Uttar Pradesh government has repeatedly denied a rape had taken place at all. Some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders even alleged that the woman and one of the accused were in a relationship.

The case has become emblematic of the caste-based sexual violence faced by Dalit women in the state. As per the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau, nearly 10 Dalit women are raped every day in the country, with Uttar Pradesh topping the figures.