India police arrest 4 over US woman’s gang-rape

NEW DELHI: Indian police yesterday arrested four men accused of drugging and raping an American tourist at a five-star hotel in New Delhi earlier this year, an officer said.

The woman told police that she was part of a tour group visiting India in April when her local guide gave her a spiked bottle of water and raped her with four acquaintances inside her hotel room. “We arrested four of them a few hours ago. And they, as in the tour guide, driver, cleaner and another hotel employee, have been charged with rape,” Delhi police spokesman, Dependra Pathak, told AFP. He said the victim, who returned to New Delhi last week, had already recorded her testimony in court and would be able to fly back home in a few days after identifying the suspects.

Police launched a formal investigation earlier this month after the woman filed a complaint through an American charity. She has told local media in the past week that she had no memory of the assault for nearly three months. “The first two nights I was drugged, physically assaulted and sexually assaulted,” she told NDTV news network, covering her face with a scarf to hide her identity. “I had no memory of what happened to me while I was in India. I regained my memory three months later around the end of July and that’s when I took action”.

The assault in April was one of the latest in a series of sex attacks on foreigners in India, reigniting concerns about women’s safety in the country. A 35-year-old Japanese tourist was raped in southern India last month. In June, five men were jailed for life for gang-raping a 52-year-old Danish tourist in New Delhi in 2014. India introduced tough laws against sex offenders in the wake of the fatal gangrape of a student in the capital in December 2012 that sparked mass street protests. But high levels of sexual violence against women continue. – AFP

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