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Lost Danish tourist ‘gang-raped’ in Delhi Police round up group of homeless men

NEW DELHI, Jan 15, (AFP): Indian police rounded up a group of homeless men Wednesday over the alleged gangrape of a 51-year-old Danish tourist who lost her way near the main backpacker’s area of the capital, officers said.

The woman approached the suspects for directions early on Tuesday evening while trying to return to her hotel in the bustling Paharganj district of New Delhi, reportedly after visiting a city museum. Up to six “youngsters” allegedly assaulted and robbed the victim, who was travelling alone and had been in New Delhi since Monday after visiting the Taj Mahal, police and a receptionist at her hotel told AFP. “We have detained a group of men and we are questioning them over the incident,” special commissioner of police Deepak Mishra told AFP.

A senior investigating officer in the Paharganj police station told AFP on condition of anonymity that the victim was held hostage at knife-point for three hours and had been kicked and slapped.

Her mobile phone and cash were also stolen. The alleged attack just minutes from Connaught Place in the heart of the capital is the latest involving a foreigner in India, and again raises questions about the safety of women in the world’s second most populous country.

Last month, India marked the first anniversary of the death of the student who was gang-raped on a moving bus in the capital in an attack that sent shockwaves across the nation.

The Danish victim refused to be medically examined and was clearly traumatised by the experience, but gave a detailed statement overnight in the presence of her country’s ambassador, police said.

She has since left India. “We have identified around four to six people who are the prime suspects in the case,” the investigating policeman said, adding that they appeared to be “vagabonds”. “She told us that the attackers were mostly youngsters,” he added.

The crime scene was inside the grounds of the Railway Officers Club on State Entry Road with the victim saying she was dragged to a secluded area shrouded by trees near a statue, police said.

A police forensic team visited on Wednesday morning and police are in possession of the clothes the victim was wearing at the time of the attack. Kuldeep Singh, a receptionist at the victim’s hotel, said the woman had appeared calm when she returned at about 8:30 pm (1500 GMT) but then confided in a fellow traveller.

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