India police arrest five more after Spanish tourist gang raped

By AFP   March 5, 2024 | 07:29 pm PT
India police arrest five more after Spanish tourist gang raped
Suspects arrested in connection with the gang rape of a Spanish tourist in Dumka district in India's eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. Photo by X/Dumka police
India police have arrested five more men in connection with the gang rape of a Spanish tourist, taking the total detained to eight, local media reported Tuesday.

The attack on the woman, who was on a motorbike trip with her husband, took place last week in Dumka district in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand where the couple was camping.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency broadcasted footage of five suspects, handcuffed and tied to each other in a line by a rope, in front of seated police officers.

On Monday, three other men appeared in court - also with sacks on their heads - and were later remanded in custody.

"The three earlier arrested gave a new statement, in which they mentioned five more names so, until now, we have arrested eight culprits in total," senior local police officer Pitamber Singh Kherwar said, according to PTI.

Kherwar said any of the men, if found guilty, would face "strict punishment".

"We are forming a strong case against them," he added.

The authorities have handed a cheque of US$12,000 to the couple as compensation under a "victim compensation scheme", broadcaster NDTV reported.

The woman, who identified herself on social media, posted a statement after the latest arrests.

"They have caught all the criminals, and there were eight in total," she wrote, thanking the "efficient" police.

"I ask for justice ... (for) all of the women who also have to go through this."

An average of nearly 90 rapes a day were reported in India in 2022, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau.

However, large numbers go unreported due to prevailing stigmas around victims and a lack of faith in police investigations.

Convictions remain rare, with cases getting stuck for years in India's clogged-up criminal justice system.

The notorious gang rape and murder of an Indian student made global headlines in 2012.

Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, was raped, assaulted and left for dead by five men and a teenager on a bus in New Delhi in December that year.

The horrific crime shone an international spotlight on India's high levels of sexual violence and sparked weeks of protests, and eventually a change in the law to introduce the death penalty for rape.

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