A teenage girl in India who allegedly endured a brutal rape was assaulted again by the same suspected assailants after police used her in a botched operation to catch the pair, authorities have told Indian media.
The 17-year-old girl in Janda in the western state of Maharashtra told police she was raped at knife-point on July 7 by two men who allegedly also stole her mobile phone.
When the two men allegedly began calling the girl's mother, threatening to release footage they had shot of the rape unless they were paid money, the girl's family went to police, who began concocting a sting operation.
Vishwas Patil, the Aurangabad district police inspector general, told NDTV that after an initial operation to catch the pair failed, the second sting also went awry and the girl was assaulted.
"We tried to lay a trap on the 8th, but it failed," Patil said. "We tried again on the 9th but that failed too and the girl was put through 'injustice' again."
"It is wrong to use a minor victim as bait," the inspector general said. "She was already traumatized."
Police told NDTV that a "miscommunication" resulted in the girl leaving to meet the pair without informing them and she was under the false belief she was being followed by officers.
According to the Hindustan Times, Patil has since suspended his assistant inspector, who was reportedly responsible for planning the botched sting operation.
NDTV reported that a preliminary medical examination failed to confirm whether or not the girl was raped, but the report said that police do believe the girl was sexually assaulted.
Violence against women in India has been the subject of intense international focus since a woman was gang-raped and murdered on a Delhi bus in 2012.