Five arrested over kidnap, rape

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 04 Januari 2015 | 23.08

Indians participate in a candlelit vigil protesting violence against women as they mark the second anniversary of the deadly gang rape of a student on a bus, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. The case sparked public outrage and helped make women's safety a common topic of conversation in a country where rape is often viewed as a woman's personal shame to bear. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das) Source: AP

INDIAN police have arrested five men accused of repeatedly raping a 22-year-old Japanese tourist over three weeks near Bodh Gaya, Buddhism's holiest site, an official said Saturday.

The tourist had been held hostage at gunpoint in a secluded underground room close to the pilgrimage site, according to a preliminary investigation.

The woman had been staying in the eastern city of Kolkata when she was befriended by three local men who spoke Japanese.

The men then took her to the seaside resort of Digha in the state of West Bengal where they robbed her of $1200 before taking her to Bodh Gaya, where two more men joined them and raped her.

In this file photo from 2004, a Buddhist nun prepares flowers for offering at the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Source: News Corp Australia

"When her health condition deteriorated due to repeated rape and poor living conditions, she was brought to Gaya [district headquarters] for medical treatment on December 20," a police officer who is part of the investigation told AFP on condition of anonymity.

But she managed to escape and reached Varanasi where she met some Japanese tourists who helped her contact the Japanese consulate in the nearby city of Kolkata, the officer added.

Sajid Khan, 32, and his 25-year-old brother Jawed Khan, both tourist guides, were arrested in the case on Friday, police deputy superintendent Alok Kumar Singh said.

Hanging ropes are displayed as part of an installation seeking death penalty for rapists on the second anniversary of the deadly gang rape of a student on a bus, in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das) Source: AP

"We have arrested the duo for confining and raping the Japanese student," Singh told AFP by telephone from Bodh Gaya.

The news follows three earlier arrests. "We have arrested three people from Kolkata and two from Gaya in Bihar in connection with the incident," Pallav Kanti Ghosh, a senior police official in Kolkata, told Reuters.

The Bodh Gaya complex, 110 kilometres south of Bihar state capital Patna, is home to one of the earliest Buddhist temples still standing in India and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Indian girls take a pledge to act towards stopping atrocity on women on the second anniversary of the deadly gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki) Source: AP

India has faced intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women following the fatal gang rape of a medical student in New Delhi in 2012 which sparked global outcry.

Since then, several attacks on foreign women have also been reported, leading to a dip in tourist numbers to the country.

Last January, a 51-year-old Danish tourist was robbed and gang raped at knifepoint in Delhi.

In 2013, a Swiss cyclist holidaying in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh was robbed and gang raped by five men, all of whom were later sentenced to life terms.

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