News / Asia

India Arrests 2 for Alleged Rape of Danish Tourist

Police officials escort an accused in the gang rape of a 51-year-old Danish tourist to produce him in court in New Delhi, India,  Jan. 16, 2014.
Police officials escort an accused in the gang rape of a 51-year-old Danish tourist to produce him in court in New Delhi, India, Jan. 16, 2014.
Michael LipinFrances Alonzo
Indian police announced that they have arrested two homeless men in connection with the alleged rape of a female Danish tourist in New Delhi, an incident that has drawn more criticism of India's record of dealing with violence against women.
 
New Delhi authorities said on Wednesday the suspects were caught in possession of some of the 51-year old Danish woman's belongings, including an iPod. They also released more details of the alleged assault, which happened a day earlier.
 
Police said the tourist was asking for directions back to her hotel when several men lured her to a secluded area near the New Delhi Railway Station, where they robbed and assaulted her at knife-point. The woman later returned to her hotel and told the staff what had happened.
 
She departed from India on Wednesday to return to Denmark, where officials said she has been receiving assistance from Danish authorities.
 
Foreign women assaulted
 
There has been a series assaults on foreign women in India in the past year.
 
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 female 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, home of the Taj Mahal.
 
London-based rights group Amnesty International responded to the latest incident by saying India is not fulfilling its human rights obligations.
 
India's record criticized
 
Speaking to VOA on Wednesday, the head of Amnesty's women's rights program, Cristina Finch, said the government must do more to solve the problem of sexual violence against all women in India.
 
"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, investigated, followed up and prosecuted," Finch said.
 
She also called on the international community to boost support for the work of India's women's rights activists.
 
"I don’t think that there is a magic bullet that would solve [the problem of violence against women], other than to say we should make sure that women are part of the solution," she said.
 
Mallika Dutt is the founder of Breakthrough, an Indian human rights organization that uses the arts and technology to challenge discrimination against women.
 
Indian activists' goals
 
In a recent interview with VOA, she said her group wants Indian police to register all sexual assault complaints filed by women.
 
"That is the first threshold that women really have to cross in India," Dutt said.
 
"We also have to make sure that when police are registering complaints of rape, they are treating the women coming in with respect," she said. "Because so often, women are dehumanized by the act of rape, and then face a dehumanization process from the entire legal system, starting with the Indian police. We really have got to change the mindsets at that level."
 
Dutt also called for Indian judges to quickly hand down appropriate sentences against perpetrators of sexual crimes.
 
She said her organization ultimately wants to bring about a culture change in India, with men "stepping up and taking responsibility" for what she called "incredibly prevalent violence" against women.
 
Officials take action
 
India's government adopted several measures last year in response to public outrage about high-profile rape cases, including the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a New Delhi bus in December 2012.
 
The Indian parliament passed a Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill that doubles the minimum prison term for rape causing death to 20 years. It also criminalizes voyeurism, stalking and acid attacks.
 
In other moves, Indian authorities launched an "I Respect Women" tourism campaign to reassure female travelers and introduced reforms aimed at encouraging women to report assaults.
 
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.
 
Ravi Kant, head of the New Delhi-based Shakti Vahini rights group, recently told VOA that the perpetrators of such attacks believe they can get away with them.
 
Assessing authorities' effectiveness
 
One factor that contributes to that mindset, he said, is police ineptitude.
 
"Police have advisories and standing orders about how to take care of the victims, how to do medical investigations, and how to provide aid to the victims. But that doesn't happen," Kant said. "We have a police force which has neither the educational level or the competence to deal with such crimes."
 
However, Kant also said an Indian court's relatively fast conviction last September of four men involved in the December 2012 New Delhi gang-rape is a positive sign.
 
"At least the message has gone out that the law will take its own course, and there will be fear of the law among the perpetrators," he said.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ebola Lockdown May Be Extended

Lockdown, which started Friday, aims to allow health workers to locate hidden Ebola patients, educate others on how to avoid the deadly disease More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Charlie Chan from: China
January 16, 2014 10:26 PM
Indians, please, don't be so ridiculous, raping a 51 year old woman, can not you pay some money for visiting a prostitute rather than raping

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid