MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - A Swiss woman on a tourist trip across India with her husband was gang-raped in the country’s impoverished Madhya Pradesh state, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday.
The 39-year-old Swiss woman and her husband were touring the state on bicycles and camped overnight in a forest on Friday night, when they were assaulted by a group of at least seven men.
The agency said citing local police official SM Afzal that the assailants “tied up the man and raped the woman in his presence.” The policeman added that the attackers stole 10,000 rupees ($185) and a mobile phone.
The couple arrived in Mumbai on February 3 and was on their way to Agra, home to the iconic monument of Taj Mahal in the north of the country, when they stopped to camp near a village in Madhya Pradesh.
Indian media sources said the assailants were wielding sticks as they attacked the couple of Swiss tourists.
CNN reported citing D.K. Arya, deputy inspector general of police, that 20 suspects have been already detained for questioning.
The attack comes in the light of calls on the Indian authorities to impose stricter laws on sexual assault. The calls follow a chain of rape cases in the country in recent months.
Six people were arrested in January on charges of raping a married 29-year-old woman on a bus in the northwestern Punjab state earlier that month.
In December, a 23-year-old student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University was beaten and raped by six drunken men on a bus in New Delhi. She later died of sustained injuries in a Singapore hospital.
The December assault triggered violent public protests in India. Over 140 people, including 78 policemen, were injured in December after law enforcers clashed with demonstrators using water cannons, batons and tear gas.