Swiss tourist gang-raped in India
By Sanjay Sharma, AFPBHOPAL, India--A Swiss female tourist was gang raped in central India in front of her husband, police said Saturday, renewing the focus on the issue of sexual violence against women in the South Asian nation.
March 17, 2013, 12:31 am TWN
The woman was on a cycling trip with her husband in impoverished Madhya Pradesh state, when seven to eight men attacked the couple on Friday night while they were camping, sexually assaulting the woman and robbing the pair, police said.
The attackers “tied up the man and raped the woman in his presence,” local police official S.M. Afzal told AFP, adding that they stole 10,000 rupees (US$185) and a mobile phone from the woman.
The attack comes just months after thousands took to the streets to protest against India's treatment of women following the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi in December.
“We are deeply shocked by this tragic incident suffered by a Swiss citizen and her partner in India,” the Swiss foreign ministry in Bern said in a statement.
The Swiss ministry said its diplomats in India were in contact with local authorities and that it hoped the attackers would be “swiftly identified and would appear before a court to answer for their actions.”
The couple were on their way to the tourist destination of Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal monument, in northern India when they stopped to camp for the night.
“The victims, who belong to Switzerland, put up a tent to stay overnight” in a forested area when the attack occurred, Afzal said.
Indian media reports said the men were wielding sticks when they attacked the couple.
After the attack, the rape victim, aged about 40, was admitted to hospital in Gwalior city, 212 miles (342 kilometers) from state capital Bhopal, local police official M.S. Dhodee said.