On Sunday, five men in connection with the gang rape of a Swiss woman attacked in central India while on a cycling vacation with her husband were arrested according to the police. All five who live in a nearby village admitted the attack took place Friday night as the couple camped out in the forest in Datia district of Madhya Praesh state and were arrested in Datia, while police search for two others involved in the attack are still at large according to D.K. Arya, a senior police officer. Arya explains the couple stated that the woman was raped by seven or eight men but could not tell the exact number as it was dark outside. The husband was also attacked by the men. The woman, 39, was treated Saturday at a hospital in nearby Gwalior and was released. The attack comes only three months after the brutal gang rape of a woman aboard a New Delhi bus outraged Indians and again appeared on the front page of Indian newspapers on Saturday. Unfortunately, in that case the girl did not survive her injuries. The couple had set out for Orchha on Friday and pitched their tent in the forest when they were attacked by men armed with sticks who beat up the husband, tied him to a tree and raped the woman and taking their cellphone, laptop computer, and 10,000 rupees ($185) police reports confirm. Police were able to recover the cellphone and laptop from one of the men arrested.
The Swiss ambassador in India, Linus von Castelmur, spoke with the couple to offer the Swiss government’s support and help stating, “Their health and treatment is the priority of the moment.” The embassy asks that a “swift investigation and for justice to be done.” Rapes in India happen every 20 minutes with many going unreported due to social stigma in this conservative society and the conviction rate for crimes against women is the lowest in the world reports the Indian National Crime Records Bureau. Last month, the Swiss government issued a travel warning because of the increased number of rapes and other sexual offenses in India and this recent rape could push other countries to do the same. According to government stats, around 6.5 million foreign tourists visited India in 2011 grossing $120 billion for the nation’s travel and hospitality sector. The gang rape of a 23 year old student in December sparked debate about violence against women in India and the inability of law enforcement to protect them. One of the six suspects int he December rape hung himself in a New Delhi jail last week, but his family and lawyer believe foul play was involved prompting an investigation the other four men and juvenile remain on trial. In response to the public outcry, the government has increased prison terms for rape from seven to 10 years to a maximum of 20 years. The law also calls for the death penalty in extreme rape cases that leave the victim in a coma or results in death. It also made voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and trafficking of women punishable under criminal law according to the Associated Press.