The gruesome incident occurred around 9:00pm local time onFriday, in a desolate jungle area of the Datia district. Thevictim’s husband told police that four people raped the woman infront of him, while the rest of the men restrained the couple. According to police official S.M. Afzal Datia, the suspectsallegedly attacked the 39-year-old woman with canes and otherweapons. They assaulted the victim’s husband and stole the couple’scash, laptop, camera, flashlights, and mobile phones.The woman was rushed to Gwalior district hospital, where doctorsconfirmed the rape and assault. She has since been discharged.Police Director-General Nandan Kumar Dubey said the suspects havebeen identified. The matter has also been reported to the ministerof external affairs and the embassy, he said.But National Commission for Women (NCW) chair Mamata Sharma saidthe local government should be doing far more in the wake of thecrime. “The government has remained stoic and are not takingappropriate steps in the right direction,” she said in astatement. The Swiss woman and her husband were touring the area by bicycleand camping overnight in the forest. They had been vacationing inIndia for the past three months.This was the second recent case of a foreign tourist being raped inMadhya Pradesh. In February, a 23-year-old South Korean studentreported that she was drugged and raped by the son of a local hotelowner.The attack comes just three months after a 23-year-old student wasgang-raped and beaten in a moving bus and thrown ontothe street. She later died in a Singapore hospital. The casesparked outrage throughout the country, and cast a spotlight on thesafety of women in India. Earlier this month, 500 people gathered to protest the January rape of a7-year-old girl in the Indian state of Goa. Several policemen andlocals were injured, as officers used batons against stone-throwingdemonstrators.The crimes have prompted lawmakers to push through measuresaimed at providing protection for women throughout the country.On Saturday, India’s United Progressive Alliance governmentannounced that such a law would be passed soon: “To stop crimeagainst women, a law will soon be passed,” UPA chair SoniaGandhi said in a statement.Gandhi’s statement came two days after the Union Cabinet cleared abill mandating stringent punishment for rape and other crimes. Thebill sets a minimum jail term of 20 years for rape.Government statistics indicate that a woman is raped every 20minutes in India, although the country’s conviction rate for rapecrimes is one of the lowest in the world.
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