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India Arrests 2 for Alleged Rape of Danish Tourist

  • VOA News

Indian investigators visit a spot which police say is where a Danish tourist was gang-raped in New Delhi, India, Jan. 15, 2014.

Indian investigators visit a spot which police say is where a Danish tourist was gang-raped in New Delhi, India, Jan. 15, 2014.

Indian police have arrested two homeless men suspected of gang-raping, beating and robbing a 51-year-old Danish tourist in New Delhi.

Police said the men were found near the scene of the crime with some of the woman's possessions, including a glasses cases and an iPod.

A search is ongoing for several others suspects in the incident, which took place Tuesday in the popular Paharganj area of the capital.

The woman, who has since returned to Denmark, told police the men lured her to a secluded area and attacked her at knife-point after she asked for directions.

It is the latest instance to draw harsh criticism of India's record of dealing with violence against women.

Cristina Finch, the head of Amnesty International's women's rights program, told VOA that to fix the problem, India must address its "culture of impunity."

"There needs to be better training of the police force to deal with survivors, so that when women come in to report sexual violence, those cases are taken seriously, that they're investigated and followed up on and prosecuted," said Finch.

Finch points out that the problem is not just in India. She says worldwide, one out of every three women is raped, beaten, or coerced into sex in their lifetime.

The problem has come under the spotlight in India since December 2012, when a 23-year-old woman died after being gang-raped on a moving bus. Since then, there have been several widely publicized incidents of foreign women being attacked.

Earlier this month, a Polish woman was raped by a taxi driver while traveling with her two-year-old daughter to New Delhi.

Last year, a Swiss cyclist was gang-raped in central India, while a British woman said she was forced to jump out of her hotel room window to avoid a sexual attack in Agra, the city that is home to the Taj Mahal.

In response, authorities have strengthened rape punishments, begun a system of "fast-track courts" to try alleged rapists, and launched an "I Respect Women" tourism campaign aimed at reassuring female travelers.

Officials said 1,330 rapes were reported in and around New Delhi from January to October 2013 - almost double the 706 cases reported for all of 2012.
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