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Finn asks for lift, gets raped

Mumbai, Dec. 20: Six people are being questioned in connection with the rape of a 36-year-old Finnish woman in a car late on Monday night.

The detainees include the manager of a restobar the victim had visited and drivers of private cars seen regularly in the area at night.

The woman, married to a Finnish electrical engineer who works for a machine tool-making company in Mumbai, had lodged a rape complaint from hospital last night.

She said she had travelled alone from her Sector 19A home in Navi Mumbai’s Nerul to Indulge Fine Dine restobar in the adjacent CBD Belapur area on Monday night.

She left after dinner and a few drinks around 11.30pm but failed to find a cab. So she hitched a ride in a car.

The driver took her to a stretch of the Parsik Hill Road, which gets deserted after 10.30pm because of its jungle-like surroundings. The man assaulted and raped her, and then threw her out of the car near a petrol station.

Pump attendants Ramesh Singh and Triveni Singh spotted the woman asking for help around 3.30am. “She was barefoot and her clothes were torn. We couldn’t understand much as she was speaking in English, but when we heard the word ‘police’, we telephoned the local police,” one of them said.

The police say the woman asked to be dropped home and refused medical help. She did not mention rape. On Tuesday, her husband admitted her to Nanavati Hospital.

Hospital authorities persuaded the woman to lodge a complaint with the police, who visited the hospital last night and recorded her statement.

Dr Pramod Hatwalekar, Nanavati medical superintendent, said: “She was treated for bruises on her face, hands and legs and discharged this morning. We have conducted a medical test to confirm rape and are waiting for the report.”

Navi Mumbai police commissioner Ramrao Wagh said: “Her husband told us she is a habitual drinker and hangs out at late hours.”

He said the police had spotted the woman roaming in a drunken state in Belapur two months ago. However, he hastened to add that this would have no bearing on the case.

“This is her second marriage. She has two children, including a 16-year-old daughter, from her first marriage. The family has been living in Nerul for one-and-a-half years.”

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