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India jails three Nepalese for US tourist gang-rape

December 17, 2013

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Indian police stop a tourist bus at a checkpoint put in place following the rape of a US tourist in the Indian hillstation town of Manali on June 5, 2013.—Photo by AFP/ File Photo
Indian police stop a tourist bus at a checkpoint put in place following the rape of a US tourist in the Indian hillstation town of Manali on June 5, 2013.—Photo by AFP/ File Photo

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Tuesday sentenced three Nepalese men to 20 years in jail for the gang-rape of a US tourist in June, police said.

A district judge handed down the punishment at the end of a trial for the three men in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, local police said in a statement.

The judge ordered the three “to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 20 years,” Vinod Kumar Dhawan, who headed the police team investigating the assault, said in the statement.

The sentence, awarded six months after the attack, comes one day after India marked the one-year anniversary of the fatal gang-rape of a student that drew global attention to sex crimes against women in India.

The 23-year-old Indian student died of her injuries two weeks after the attack on a moving bus in Delhi by a pack of six men. Four of the adult attackers have been sentenced to death in the case.

In June, the US woman, 30, had accepted a lift in a truck at night in Manali, a tourist destination in the foothills of the Himalayas, after struggling to find a taxi to return to her hotel.

The American, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told police the truck driver and his two accomplices took her to a secluded spot where they raped her for over an hour.

She gave police a description of the men and also identified the truck model, which is commonly used to transport construction materials in the state.

The attack on the tourist was one of a series of assaults on foreigners visiting India this year.

In late July, an Indian court sentenced six men to life in prison for gang-raping a Swiss cyclist in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.