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

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs