• Saturday, April 20, 2024

INDIA

Fury over foreign tourist’s gangrape in India’s Jharkhand: ‘What they wanted was to rape me’

The tourist couple on a motorcycle tour of India had stopped at a place in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand for camping.

Representational Image (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE alleged gangrape of a tourist holding Brazilian-Spanish dual nationality in a desolate place in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has resulted in an uproar.

It was reported that the 28-year-old victim, who was with her husband, was on a motorcycle tour of Asia and had stopped for the night in Dumka district of the state where the alleged crime took place.

Local police said four men were arrested while search was on for another three. The identities of the accused were yet to be disclosed.

On Sunday, three accused were seen being escorted into a court with their faces covered and police officers holding ropes tied around their waists. They were later remanded in custody.

The victims were also in the court.

The couple have travelled to several parts of Asia on their two-wheelers before they reached India a few months ago.

Read: In India’s Rajasthan, father of teen who was gangraped, burnt in coal furnace, tries to jump onto her pyre

In a video that she posted on her Instagram page which has more than 230,000 followers, the woman described her experience in Spanish. She said seven men raped her and although they also beat them up and robbed them, the criminals primarily wanted to rape her. She said the perpetrators also threatened to kill them.

“Seven men raped me. They have beaten us and robbed us, although not many things [were taken] because what they wanted was to rape me,” she said in Spanish.

Read: Actor says no to controversial perfume ad promoting ‘gangrape culture,’ called it ‘derogatory and demeaning for women’

In another video, the woman’s husband, a Spanish, said they targeted his wife more. He added that the criminals hit him with the helmet several times and also with a stone on the head. He said the jacket that his wife was wearing helped in reducing the blows by a little.

The videos were later removed. However, the couple received solidarity and sympathy from several people on social media.

The injured couple saw a patrol van and stopped it seeking help. They were taken to a local health centre for treatment, Dumka’s police authorities said.

The policemen could not understand their language in the beginning since they were speaking in a mixture of English and Spanish. But the officers could understand that they were visibly injured and took them for treatment. The couple then told the doctors about the alleged rape.

According to a BBC report, the Brazilian embassy in India said the woman and her husband “were victims of a serious criminal attack”. It also said that it had contacted the Spanish embassy since the couple had used Spanish passports to enter India.

“The Spanish embassy said that it had offered all the assistance available, including psychological care, but that the victims had declined the offer as they were already being looked after by the Indian emergency services,” the Brazilian embassy was quoted as saying by the BBC. It also added that it would continue to “monitor all developments”.

“We need to stand united in our commitment to end violence against women everywhere in the world,” the Spanish embassy in India posted on X on Sunday (3).

Rekha Sharma, the chief of India’s National Commission for Women, also triggered a controversy after she responded to a post made by an American journalist who wrote that while India was one of his favourite places, “the level of sexual aggression” he encountered while living in the country was “unlike anywhere else I have ever been”.

He also cited a few instances of sexual assault faced by women he knew.

“Did you ever report the incident to police?” Sharma wrote. “If not then you are totally an irresponsible person. Writing only on social media and defaming whole country is not good choice.”

She was criticised for her response.

Indian actors Dulquer Salmaan, Richa Chadha and Vir Das on Sunday expressed shock over the incident and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

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