MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - Five villagers have confessed to gang-raping a Swiss female tourist in central India, the local police said on Sunday.
The police have previously detained 20 suspects for questioning. The local authorities said they would give more information on the incident at a news conference later in the day.
The 39-year-old Swiss woman and her husband were touring the impoverished Madhya Pradesh state on bicycles and camped overnight in a forest on Friday night, when they were assaulted by a group of at least seven men.
Al Jazeera reported on Saturday citing the local police the assailants “tied up the man and raped the woman in his presence.” 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.
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.