NEW DELHI -- Pictures of a tribal woman being stripped and assaulted in the clashes in India's Assam state have shocked the nation.
Clashes broke out during the weekend in the northeastern state between local residents and the tribal people called "Adivasis," as the latter sought to press demands for their rights. Hundreds of Adivasis were injured but what has outraged the public is a TV footage of the woman running naked, pursued by three men wielding clubs, the BBC reported.
The TV images showed her being chased through the streets by the men who ripped her clothes, beat and kicked her, the report said. Local people were able to rescue her after she had run naked some distance down the streets.
Prior to the clashes, the tribals reportedly damaged cars and shops after police refused to let them have a procession.
The BBC report said police using the TV footage tracked down and arrested three suspects.
"This is a shock to the Assamese society as a whole," Mridula Saharia, head of the state commission for women, told the BBC. "I cannot believe this is happening in Assam."
Other women's groups have urged tough action against the attackers.
The Adivasis are demanding to be officially recognized as a backward community to become eligible for education and jobs.
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