Swiss woman gang-rape: 6 arrested; minister blames victim

The Madhya Pradesh police arrested six accused and recovered the mobile and the laptop robbed from the Swiss victim and her husband.

Zeenews Bureau

Datia: Two days after the gang-rape case of a Swiss woman here shook the nation, the Madhya Pradesh police on Sunday arrested six accused and recovered the mobile and the laptop robbed from the victim and her husband.

"We have arrested six accused persons who raped the Swiss woman and recovered her mobile," SM Afzal, IG, Chambal Range, told a news agency.

They were identified as Baba, Bhutha, Rampro, Gaza alias Brajesh, Vishnu Kanjar and Nitin Kanjar. While five were picked up earlier in the day, Nitin was arrested in the evening in Niwadi, about 100 km from here.

All the accused have admitted to the assault that took place on Friday night, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) DK Arya said.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta said the incident was "unfortunate" but claimed foreign tourists were not following rules on informing local police about their movements.

"What happened is unfortunate for our nation. When foreign tourists come, they should inform the SP (Superintendent of Police) about their plans. This is the system but it is not being followed," he said.

The couple told the police that the victim was gang-raped by seven or eight men but as it was pitch dark they could not be sure of the exact number who attacked her, he said.

The Swiss tourist, on a cycling trip along with her husband, was allegedly gang-raped at a forest area in Datia district, on the night of March 15.

The traumatised woman was treated in the nearby city of Gwalior and was in a state of shock, police said, adding she later left for Delhi.

Earlier, police had detained over 20 people and on the basis of leads provided by them the arrests were made.

On a three-month vacation, the couple--who are adventure tourists-- was camping at a forest area for the night while on their way back from Orchha, home to temples of Lord Ram, and were planning to cycle to Agra when they were attacked and looted by some persons who took away their laptop, mobile and other valuables.(The offence took place at Jhadia village, eight kms from Datia town, at around 9 pm on March 15, when the woman along with her partner was touring the region on a bicycle as part of their India tour, police said.

They told the police that the husband was thrashed, overpowered and tied to a tree after which they took turns raping the woman.

Besides the mobile and laptop, they also stole Rs 10,000 with the couple.

Reacting to the incident, the Swiss embassy in Delhi said the health and treatment of the victim was a priority for them at the moment.

In a statement, the embassy said it has spoken to the authorities in Madhya Pradesh and sought a quick probe.

Swiss Ambassador in India, Linus von Castelmur, spoke to the couple and assured them of the Swiss government`s support.

"The embassy is most distressed with the gang-rape of a Swiss national in Madhya Pradesh. The Ambassador has been able to speak to the victim and her partner and has assured them of all possible support. Their health and treatment is the priority of the moment. The embassy has also been in touch with the local authorities and has requested for swift investigation and for justice to be done," the statement said.

The incident came within three months of the gang-rape of a 23-year-old medic in a moving bus in Delhi. The woman, who was brutally assaulted and gang-raped on December 16, died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

(With PTI inputs)