Six in court accused of gang rape of Swiss tourist in India
Tourist on cycling holiday in Madhya Pradesh is victim of latest brutal attack
SIX MEN were due to appear in court today in India charged with the gang rape of a 39-year-old Swiss tourist on Friday. They are said to have confessed to beating her 29-year-old husband and tying him to a tree while they raped her.
The couple were making a 155-mile cycle trip from Orchha to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, the BBC reports, when they stopped to camp in woodland in the Datia district of Madhya Pradesh, one of India's poorest states.
The husband told police a group of men approached them at 9pm local time, armed with wooden 'lathis' or staves. He was overpowered and beaten. After repeatedly raping his wife, the men left with a laptop and 10,000 rupees (£122).
It took the couple an hour to stop a passing motorcyclist and raise the alarm. They were taken to a police station but none of the officers spoke English so a local teacher was woken to translate.
The attack is just the latest case of gang rape to make headlines in India, with many Indians complaining that the police do not take rape seriously enough.
It comes less than a week after the ringleader in the December gang rape and murder of a medical student on a Delhi bus was found hanged in his prison cell. It remains unclear if he was murdered or whether fellow inmates might have helped him commit suicide.
In January, a strikingly similar attack was carried out by a bus driver, conductor and associates on a 29-year-old woman making her way home by bus at night in northern Punjab.
The Times reports that Umashankar Gupta, the home minister of Madhya Pradesh, "caused outrage" last night when he blamed the Swiss tourist for not keeping local police informed of her travel plans.
Gupta said: "The rape of the Swiss national is unfortunate but foreign travellers should inform the police about their movement so they can be provided with adequate protection." ·