Two men arrested in New Delhi over alleged gang-rape of Danish tourist

Danish woman, 51, allegedly attacked and robbed in backpackers' area of New Delhi in latest sex-crime outrage to hit country

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 January, 2014, 3:11pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 January, 2014, 10:12am

Indian police arrested two men yesterday over the alleged gang-rape of a 51-year-old Danish tourist who lost her way near the backpackers' area of New Delhi.

The woman approached the suspects for directions early on Tuesday evening while trying to return to her hotel in the bustling Paharganj area of the capital after visiting a museum.

Six men armed with a knife allegedly assaulted and then robbed the woman, who was travelling alone and had been in New Delhi since Monday after visiting the Taj Mahal, police and a receptionist at her hotel said.

"Two person(s) have been arrested in connection with rape case with Danish national," read a statement from the police, which said both men were "vagabonds" at New Delhi railway station.

Earlier special commissioner of police Deepak Mishra said a group of men had been detained for questioning.

"We are investigating. She has declined to undergo a medical examination. They took her mobile phone and money in euros."

The alleged attack just minutes from Connaught Place in the heart of the capital is the latest involving a foreigner in India and again raises questions about the safety of women there.

Mishra declined to say exactly how many men were detained over the incident opposite New Delhi Railway Station, but local media put the number at 15.

"The victim was obviously traumatised but was still clearly able to recall the entire crime sequence," another investigating officer said.

Kuldeep Singh, a receptionist at the woman's hotel, said she had appeared calm when she returned at about 8.30pm, but then confided in a fellow traveller. "She first came to me at the reception desk and told me that she needed 200 rupees [HK$25] to give to the auto driver as she had been robbed," Singh said.

Police took her statements in the presence of the Danish ambassador, fellow staff member Manish Sharma said.

Danish ambassador Freddy Svane said the embassy was providing assistance to the woman.

The case comes after a Polish woman was allegedly drugged and raped by a taxi driver this month while travelling with her two-year-old daughter to New Delhi.

Last month, India marked the first anniversary of the death of the student who was gang-raped on a moving bus in the capital. Protests over the attack prompted India's parliament to toughen laws for rapists and other offenders. But daily accounts of brutal assaults continue to be reported.

A schoolgirl was raped by eight men in the eastern city of Ranchi this week while they held her male friend, the Hindustan Times reported yesterday.

And a judge last month sentenced three Nepalese men to 20 years in jail for the gang-rape of a US tourist in June in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

Six men were sentenced to life in prison last July for the gang-rape and robbery of a 39-year-old Swiss woman cyclist who had been holidaying in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

Watch:Reactions to Danish tourist rape in New Delhi