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Danish tourist ‘gang-raped’
- Eight men trick 51-year-old on way back to Delhi hotel, two held

 
The site where the police claim the Danish woman was gang-raped on Tuesday and (right) the hotel in Paharganj in Delhi where she was headed. (AP)
The site where the police claim the Danish woman was gang-raped on Tuesday and (right) the hotel in Paharganj in Delhi where she was headed. (AP)

New Delhi, Jan. 15: A 51-year-old Danish tourist has told police she was slapped, kicked, robbed and then gang-raped at knifepoint last night by eight men, some of them apparently half her age, as the city awoke to another reminder of its “rape capital” label.

The victim, who refused a medical examination, flew out of the country this morning but police sources said she had told them she would return and “depose if needed”.

Two vagrants were arrested tonight from near New Delhi railway station and sources said an iPod, a mobile and Rs 1,800 in cash were seized from them.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose government has made safety for women one of its top priorities, said authorities needed to do a “proper analysis” why the number of rapes had increased in the capital.

The alleged rape, 13 months after the December 2012 assault that led to a tightening of India’s rape laws, came less than a fortnight after a 33-year-old Polish woman filed a complaint saying she was raped by a cab driver.

Investigators probing yesterday’s rape said the Dane was attacked around 5pm about a kilometre from Connaught Place in the heart of Delhi. The victim, who arrived in India on January 1, had gone to visit the National Museum but lost her way while returning to her hotel in Paharganj, close to New Delhi railway station.

A senior police officer said the woman told investigators she had approached the eight for directions. The men, she said, appeared to be in their twenties. “She asked one of them for the correct direction but he allegedly tricked her and directed her to a lane going straight. She started walking down the road and found herself at the end of an isolated place surrounded by bushes.”

She then turned around, only to find that the men had followed her. One of them had a knife. “The accused robbed her of valuables, including an iPod and a cellphone, and Rs 3,000 and 750 euros,” the officer added. They then dragged her to the bushes and took turns to rape her before fleeing.

“They slapped and kicked her and kept her hostage for more than two hours,” the officer said.

The traumatised woman later took an auto-rickshaw to reach her hotel. She called up the Danish embassy in Delhi and informed the hotel manager, who called the police control room at 9.30pm. A police team reached the hotel soon. “She was traumatised and had bruises on her face and neck,” the officer said.

The officer said the victim refused to undergo a medical examination. “But she told us she would co-operate in the probe and return to India to depose if needed.”

Based on her statement, a case of gang rape and robbery has been registered at Paharganj police station. Late tonight, a police source said the tourist was raped in the untended backyard of a railway officers’ club.

In October 2003, a Swiss diplomat was abducted from the Siri Fort complex parking lot by two men, robbed and then dumped a few kilometres away. The case has remained unsolved as the diplomat, who has since left India, refused to return, saying she had no faith in the police.

The two arrested tonight in connection with Tuesday’s rape have been identified as Mahender alias Ganja, 25, and Raja. The police said both lived at New Delhi railway station and the Rs 1,200 mobile found on Mahender had been bought with the robbed cash. The police also found on him an iPod, earplugs and Rs 800 in cash. A search on Raja revealed Rs 1,000 in cash and a spectacle case.

Chief minister Kejriwal said he had discussed the incident with lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung. “We need to do a proper analysis why rape incidents are taking place and whether it is area specific. We will soon meet the police commissioner and he will be asked to answer why the number of rapes has increased in Delhi.”

Delhi police has been under fire for failing to curb the spurt in crimes against women in the city, dubbed India’s rape capital, since the December 16, 2012, bus gang rape that triggered countrywide outrage.

According to figures, rape complaints went up by 129 per cent in 2013, compared with the previous year, while cases of molestation rose by 412 per cent.

Over 1,550 rape cases were reported in 2013, while 3,347 molestation cases were registered.