Woman jumps from hotel balcony to escape attempted rape in India
(CNN) — A hotel owner in the tourist city of Agra, India, was arrested Tuesday on charges of attempted rape of a British female tourist, Agra District Police Chief Subhash Dubey told CNN.
Authorities say the woman, who was traveling alone, jumped from the balcony of her hotel room to the next floor to escape the hotel owner, who is accused of trying to enter her room repeatedly. The woman has no injuries from her jump.
The latest attack comes on the heels of a national outcry against sexual abuse following the death of a 23-year-old woman who was savagely gang-raped and severely beaten aboard a New Delhi bus late last year.
More recently just this week activists in Bhopal, India protested in front of government buildings to demand better safety for women.
“We are protesting due to a collapse of law and order,” said Ajay Singh, an opposition leader. “This state has the highest number of women abductions and crimes against women.”
Currently, six men have been arrested following the gang-rape and robbery of a Swiss woman in central India. The woman and her husband were on a cycling tour across India and had set up camp near a forest in Datia district last week when a group of men allegedly assaulted them, beating the husband and raping the wife, according to police.
The six suspects appeared in court Monday and will remain in custody until their next court appearance on Tuesday, said Chandra Shekhar Solanke, a district police superintendent.
“We have taken swift action,” Shivraj Singh Chauhan, chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, told CNN IBN. “All the accused have been arrested and I assure that we will not allow such cases to happen again.”
The men accused of attacking the Swiss couple last week are members of a local tribe who live near where the travelers were camping, said D.K. Arya, deputy inspector general of police.
Investigators have recovered valuables stolen from couple during the attack, police said Monday, including a laptop computer, a mobile phone and 10,000 rupees ($185).
The woman, who was briefly hospitalized after the attack, alleges that four of the men raped her, according to Inspector-General S.M. Afzal. The other two men arrested by police are suspected of involvement in robbing the couple, he said.
Afzal said the six suspects had confessed. But confessions in custody are not admissible as evidence in Indian courts.
Police have sent blood samples from the men for DNA testing.
The couple, who had been staying at a guesthouse in Datia district during the investigation, are in New Delhi at the moment, according to Afzal. Police have asked them to return to Datia for a possible identification of the accused men, he said.
Linus von Castelmur, the Swiss ambassador to India, issued a statement Monday saying that the two are currently recovering at the embassy in New Delhi but had “expressed their readiness to fully cooperate in the ongoing investigation and identification process.”
They plan to stay in India for the time being, he said.
The case comes at a time in India when there are calls for stricter laws on sexual assault and changes in cultural attitudes toward women.
The December gang rape on the New Dehli bus spurred protests in the nation, where most women have stories of sexual harassment and abuse on public transportation or on the streets, according to the Indian Council on Global Relations.
The victim of that attack later died in a Singapore hospital.
Police charged five men with murder, rape and kidnapping in the case. Last week, one of the accused died in custody.
Police said the accused man, Ram Singh, hanged himself in a jail cell, but his lawyer and parents claim he was murdered.