A Swiss female tourist has been gang raped by a group of men as she camped in the forest with her partner in central Madhya Pradesh in India. The pair were also beaten and robbed, police said Saturday.
The woman has now been discharged from hospital after the Friday attack.
The woman, 39, and her husband, were camping in a dense forest about 400 yards from a road near the town of Datia when they were attacked by seven or eight men, said Dalip Arya, deputy inspector general of police for the Chambal area of Madhya Pradesh State.
The woman was raped by four of the men, Arya said. He added that during the attack the gang stole 10,000 rupees (US $185), a laptop, and a mobile phone.
The couple arrived in Mumbai on February 3 and were heading from Orchha to Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal as part of a cycling tour from Mumbai to New Delhi. They were in India on a three-month tourist visa.
After the attack the couple were taken to a nearby police station at 10:45 p.m. by a motorcyclist they flagged down on the road. They then had to travel about 50 miles to Gwalior for a medical examination.
Twenty suspects have been detained for questioning, but as yet no-one has been arrested.
While the investigation unfolds, the couple are staying at a guesthouse in the Datia district. The Swiss ambassador to India, Linus von Castelmur, has also spoken with the couple and is offering support.
“Their health and treatment is the priority of the moment,” the ambassador said in a statement. “The embassy has also been in touch with the local authorities and has requested for swift investigation and for justice to be done.”
The attack comes just three months after the horrific gang rape of a 23-year-old female student in New Delhi sparking protests across India, calls for police reform, improvements in rape response protocols, stronger punishments for those convicted, and a general betterment of conditions for women and girls in relation to India’s endemic problem of violent sexual attacks.
Not only have reported rapes risen in recent years but reports of gang rape are also increasing, particularly in northern India.