Tuesday, June 4, 2013

India: American Tourist, 30, Gang-Raped by Three Assailants in Himachal Pradesh

As most of our regular readers know, I filed a posting earlier today (June 4) entitled "India: Foreign Women Must Be Suspicious of New Acquaintances, Forcible Rape Continues Unabated," concerning the drugging and rape of an Irish charity worker, 21, that occurred in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) on May 31.

Subsequently, the Irish victim was drugged and raped by local businessman, Sujoy Mitra, 35, who met her assailant at a busy market last week with the end result being that the two decided to party together on Friday night (May 31) to celebrate her 21st birthday.  

The victim filed a complaint stating that she was raped in a semi-conscious state after drinking a cup of tea at her assailant's home following a night on the town.

My June 4 posting earlier today included a list of tips that solo women should follow in order to avoid finding themselves in a vulnerable situation.

Before today ended came a report of an American woman, 30, being gang-raped by three men in a truck who offered her a ride in Manali, in the northern state of  Himachal Pradesh. Unfortunately, no arrests have been made, although police have set up roadblocks and are searching for the suspects.

In the Manali case, police say the three men drove the woman to a secluded spot where they raped and robbed the American victim.

COMMENT: Although rape is a terrible crime for any victim to be forced to endure, it is also incumbent on all women who are traveling alone to make wise and cautious choices that will not place them in situations where they can be taken advantage of.

Specifically, in the Manali case, the victim accepted a ride from three men in a truck after dark. It is also possible that had the victim planned to travel during daylight hours, rather than during hours of darkness, she might very well have avoided being victimized.

The two aforementioned assaults follow a Swiss tourist who was gang raped by six assailants in Madhya Pradesh in March 2013. Fortunately, all six men were arrested and remanded into custody.

As I have said in a number of postings over the years, solo travelers should have a healthy sense of suspicion when encountering people they have never met. Also, until a new acquaintance's behavior and motives have been thoroughly tested, women traveling alone should not permit themselves to be placed in vulnerable situations. That means meeting in public places only.

Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east.