NEW DELHI: Three Indian men have appeared in court after the gang rape of a Spanish tourist on a motorbike trip with her husband, with police hunting four other suspects, reports said on Monday.

The attack took place on Friday night in eastern India in Jharkhand state’s Dumka district, where the couple were camping. A total of seven men are accused of carrying out the brutal assault.

“We have formed a team to hunt the remaining suspects,” senior local police officer Pitamber Singh Kherwar said. On Sunday, three accused were seen being escorted into court with sacks on their heads by police officers holding ropes tied around their waists. The three were later remanded in custody. The Spanish woman and her husband were also in court.

“We have to ensure strict punishment,” Kherwar said, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported Monday. Kherwar said a special team including forensic officers had been formed to scour the scene of the attack, while another team was hunting more suspects.

“They are constantly raiding places,” Kherwar said in PTI’s report. “We will soon arrest the remaining accused.” An average of nearly 90 rapes a day were reported in India in 2022, according to data from 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, 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 5th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

By-election trends
Updated 23 Apr, 2024

By-election trends

Unless the culture of violence and rigging is rooted out, the credibility of the electoral process in Pakistan will continue to remain under a cloud.
Privatising PIA
23 Apr, 2024

Privatising PIA

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s reaffirmation that the process of disinvestment of the loss-making national...
Suffering in captivity
23 Apr, 2024

Suffering in captivity

YET another animal — a lioness — is critically ill at the Karachi Zoo. The feline, emaciated and barely able to...
Not without reform
Updated 22 Apr, 2024

Not without reform

The problem with us is that our ruling elite is still trying to find a way around the tough reforms that will hit their privileges.
Raisi’s visit
22 Apr, 2024

Raisi’s visit

IRANIAN President Ebrahim Raisi, who begins his three-day trip to Pakistan today, will be visiting the country ...
Janus-faced
22 Apr, 2024

Janus-faced

THE US has done it again. While officially insisting it is committed to a peaceful resolution to the...