Foreigners shocked at Danish woman’s gang-rape

With the Capital witnessing yet another gang-rape of a 51-year-old Danish woman, foreign nationals in the city say it has come as a shock to them.

“This incident has happened despite the measures put in place after the December-16 gang-rape in a moving bus. Also, this is the second case of a foreigner being victimised this month in the city. Earlier, a Polish woman was drugged and raped by a taxi driver while travelling with her two-year-old daughter,” said a Delhi University student.

Reports say the Danish woman was returning to her hotel in Paharganj and lost her way in the area where a group of men robbed and raped her on asking for help. After returning to her hotel she contacted the police and spoke to people close to her. However, being traumatised, she refused to be examined. The Danish embassy had also pitched in and asked the authorities to take quick action and provide redress to the victim.

But has the situation changed? After the growing number of such incidents in the Capital, women especially foreigners have been feeling unsafe on Delhi roads.

Xenia Brown, a French student from Jawarharlal Nehru University, says: “Delhi has been my home for a year now. It has become dangerous these days. Going out cannot be avoided because it is unsafe. However, change is imperative for society to be more progressive, and unless women’s safety is given priority this change cannot be achieved.”

Svetlana Winter from Russia, a DU student, says: “The Delhi safety issue has been going on for quite some time now. However, there hasn’t been any headway in solving the problem. The incident on Tuesday further proves it. I read rape incidents in newspapers almost every day. It scares me. It is high time the officials took action and more concrete measures so that women in Delhi, both foreigners and Indians, feel safer.”

“Everybody stares at me while I walk on the streets in Delhi. I feel more unsafe now. But you can’t stop touring India because of it,” says Lydia Gomez, a tourist from New Jersey, USA.

Zachary Joseph, who had been a foreign exchange student from the US at South Asian University, Delhi, reacts on telephone: “All through my six months in Delhi, I felt that women’s safety did not seem to be of concern to the Delhi administration. It is not the struggle of women alone but also men to provide for safe conditions for women in India. Now, I might think twice before bringing my sister to India. I am scared for her.”

“It is a national shame that foreigners have to face such tragedy in our country. It’s time to bring about a change, else we won’t have foreigner friends in Delhi anymore. It’s time the government made India safe for women, tourists, citizens and otherwise,” says Chhaya Saini, a third-year undergraduate student at DU.

“It seems as if gang-rape has become a trend in the Capital. Is it a glorified term for the culprits? I don’t know. What I know is that when I was younger, I had never heard of so many cases of gang-rape in the country,” states Dimple Chowdhuri, a post-graduate student at JNU.