Spanish tourist gang-raped in India

Published March 3, 2024
Social activists hold a poster with their mouths covered as they protest against rape in India. — AFP/File
Social activists hold a poster with their mouths covered as they protest against rape in India. — AFP/File

MUMBAI: Three men were arrested on Saturday after the gang rape of a Spanish tourist on a motorbike trip through India’s remote east with her husband, local media reports said.

The attack took place on Friday night in the Dumka district of the eastern state of Jharkhand, where the couple had stopped to camp the night in a tent.

The woman was able to reach a police patrol van at around 11pm and was taken to hospital for treatment, police officer Pitamber Singh Kherwar told The Times of India newspaper.

Kherwar said police had detained three people in connection with the attack and were on the hunt for more suspects.

The Spanish woman is being treated at a local hospital in Dumka and an investigation is underway, reports said. An average of nearly 90 rapes were reported in India every day in 2022, according to data by the National Crime Records Bureau.

However, large numbers go unreported due to prevailing stigmas around victims and a lack of faith in police investigations. Convictions remain rare, with cases getting stuck for years in India’s clogged-up criminal justice system.

The notorious gang rape and murder of an Indian student made global headlines in 2012. Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, was raped and assaulted and left for dead by five men and a teenager on a bus in New Delhi in December that year.

The horrific crime shone an international spotlight on India’s high levels of sexual violence and sparked weeks of protests, and eventually a change in the law to introduce the death penalty for rape.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2024

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