A Swiss tourist was gang-raped on Friday near the Civil Lines police station in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh, police sources told The Hindu. The 39-year-old woman and her partner were on a cycling trip from central to north India, when eight men attacked the couple. The sources confirmed that the medical examination indicated, prima facie, that the woman was “brutally raped.” The attackers also robbed the couple.
After spending the day in the picturesque Orchha town, known for its several forts and temples, the couple were camping about 250 metres off National Highway 75, a furlong from the local police station, inside the forest. According to local journalists, a few villagers had met the couple on Friday evening as they arrived. However, seven or eight men came back later with clubs and, after an altercation, started beating up the man.
The attackers “tied up the man and gang-raped the woman in his presence,” DIG (Chambal Range) D.K. Arya told The Hindu. Once the woman’s complaint was registered, she was taken to Gwalior district for a medical test around 8 a.m. as Datia does not have lady doctors to conduct medical tests. By midday, the test was conducted and rape was “informally” confirmed by a three-member panel of doctors at the Kamalaraje Women and Children’s Hospital in Gwalior. Later, the woman was brought back to Datia. “She is with us in Datia and out of danger,” Mr. Arya said.
The DIG confirmed that, so far, “50-60 villagers” from Datia and adjoining areas had been detained and a massive operation launched to nab the culprits. The attackers stole Rs. 12,000 and a mobile phone from the woman, the sources said.
In 2003, a 36-year-old female Swiss diplomat was abducted from the car park of a popular New Delhi auditorium by two men, who drove away with her, raped her and dropped her off nearby. No one has been convicted for that attack.
Embassy calls for probe
New Delhi Special Correspondent writes:
The Swiss embassy, which has been in touch with the local authorities, called for swift investigation and justice in the incident.
Swiss ambassador Linus von Castelmur spoke to the victim and her partner and assured them of all possible support. Their health and treatment is the priority at the moment, said embassy officials. “The embassy is most distressed over the incident,” the Swiss ambassador said in a statement.