Men Charged in Cycling Tourist Rape in India

Woman and husband were camping

    Photo: Henry Flower/Flickr

Authorities have arrested six men in connection to the rape of a Swiss woman who was on a cycling tour with her husband in Madhya Pradesh, India. The men are believed to all be between 20 and 25 years old and from a local Indian tribe. According to deputy inspector general of police D. K. Arya, all six have confessed to the crime.

From the Washington Post:

The 39-year old Swiss woman and her husband were traveling by bicycle Friday to the city of Agra, site of the renowned 17th-century marble mausoleum the Taj Mahal. The couple pitched a tent in a jungle off the highway after sunset to rest during the night. But a group of men circled them, raped the woman, beat the husband with wooden sticks and stole their laptop, cell phone, and cash.

Arya said police had recovered the stolen laptop and some cash from the men.

While the prevalence of rape in India has recently received significant media attention—see the story of a 23-year-old student who died after being gang raped on a bus in December—some government officials have attempted to shift the blame to the tourists, suggesting that “nobody goes into these jungles in the night” and that the Swiss couple should have informed police of their plans.

The woman and her husband have since left Madhya Pradesh for the Swiss embassy in Delhi.

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