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Spanish tourist gangraped: What foreign media said on India’s shocker

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The Jharkhand Police said the three persons arrested in connection with the gang-rape of a Spanish tourist in Dumka district were sent to judicial custody by a court. The woman from Spain was allegedly gangraped on March 1 at Kurumahat in Hansdiha police station area, around 300 km from the state capital Ranchi, where she was spending the night in a tent along with her husband, the police said.

The woman’s statement has been recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC, the police said. Addressing a press conference, superintendent of police Pitamber Singh Kherwar said a medical test was conducted on the woman and it confirmed rape.

News agency Reuters, citing authorities and the couple, reported that police were searching for four others accused of attacking two tourists and gang-raping the woman.

Reuters said the police found the couple, who are Spanish citizens, around 11pm local time on March 1 on a roadside, looking like they had suffered a beating.

Pitamber Singh Kherwar, Reuters said, did not give details on the crime or identify the victims, adding the two people told authorities “their modesty had been outraged”, in an incident involving seven men.

The couple said in a video interview on Saturday that the men raped her and hit the husband repeatedly. The couple said they had camped out near the site where they were attacked because they could not find hotels nearby.

“They raped me, they took turns while some watched and they stayed like that for about two hours,” the woman, who has joint Brazilian-Spanish nationality, told Spanish TV channel Antena 3 in the interview.

Earlier, the couple published a video describing what happened on their joint Instagram account, where they post images of their travels around the world by motorcycle to almost 200,000 followers. The video is no longer available.

In a new video, the couple, who appears with bruises on her face, thanked their followers for the support, Reuters reported.

On Sunday, the Spanish foreign ministry said it was sending staff to the area and had been in touch with authorities, while its Brazilian counterpart said it had sought contact with the Brazilian citizen through its embassy in New Delhi and was available to give every assist applicable, the news agency reported.

Another foreign news agency AFP, citing the data by the National Crime Records Bureau, reported that an average of nearly 90 rapes were reported in India every day in 2022.

However, large numbers go unreported due to prevailing stigmas around victims and a lack of faith in police investigations, it added. “Convictions remain rare, with cases getting stuck for years in India’s clogged-up criminal justice system,” it said.

AFP highlighted the 2012 Nirbhaya case and reported 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.

Al Jazeera reported sexual violence targeting women is common in India, with women from minority tribal communities being particularly at risk. “Taboos around speaking up about the crime and low conviction rates of suspects add to the problem,” it said.

It also referred to the NCRB report which recorded 31,516 rape cases in 2022. “Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states recorded the highest number of cases,” it added.

News portal The Independent also covered the incident and how Bollywood actor Richa Chadha reacted to the incident.

“Shameful! Indians are treating foreigners like they treat their own women. Shame on our rotten society,” Richa Chadha said.

The Independent said it has reached out to Spain’s embassy in India for comment.

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