NEW DELHI—Indian police have arrested five men on allegations of kidnapping and raping a Japanese woman over four weeks, according to police.
The woman, who had been studying in India, was allegedly kidnapped by her tour guides as she headed to Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the central state of Bihar, police said. She was held at gunpoint and raped repeatedly by two men, according to Pallab Kanti Ghosh, spokesman for the police in Kolkata, where the case is being investigated.
Video courtesy of: BBC News | h/t Vlad Tepes
Bodh Gaya, one of the holiest places in the world for followers of Buddhism, is considered to be the location where Buddha gained enlightenment. It attracts a stream of foreign tourists, including many from Japan, who regularly travel to this and other important Buddhist sites around India.
On Friday police arrested Sajid Khan, 32 years old, and his 25-year-old brother, Jawed Khan, according to Rakesh Kumar, police superintendent in the city of Gaya. The men worked as tour guides in Kolkata and had accompanied the woman to the pilgrimage site, he said.
Three other men were arrested in Kolkata in connection with the case, according to Mr. Ghosh.
Formal charges haven’t been filed against the men. According to police, the preliminary criminal complaints allege that Sajid and Jawed Khan committed rape and that the other three, unnamed men allegedly committed kidnapping and conspiracy.
The five men couldn’t be reached for comment. It is not known if the men have legal representation.
Police claim that the alleged rapists traveled with the victim from Kolkata on Nov. 23. She was first taken to the seaside resort town of Digha, where she was forced to withdraw 76,000 rupees ($1,200) from a cash machine, police say. She was then allegedly taken to Gaya, near the pilgrimage site, where she was locked in a room and raped over the course of two weeks.
The alleged rapists were apprehended in their home village of Taro, which is 50 kilometers east from Gaya. They were taken to Kolkata after the arrest.
The woman was released by her captors in late December, and she traveled by bus to Varanasi, 160 miles away, police said. She met Japanese tourists in the city who helped her contact the Japanese consulate.
Video courtesy of: john mcafee | h/t Vlad Tepes
An official with Japan’s consulate in Kolkata said late Saturday, “We are very thankful for the swift action by the Kolkata police.” He declined to comment on the particulars of the case.
The safety of women in India has come under scrutiny after the rape and murder in Delhi of a student in a bus in December 2012. The public outcry led the Indian government to toughen its punishments for sexual violence, increasing the maximum sentence for rape and allowing the death penalty for repeat offenders and for cases where a rape victim is killed or put into a coma.
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