SHAFAQNA- A Japanese woman has accused an Indian tourist guide of drugging and then raping her in the historic city of Jaipur, police said Monday, the latest in a series of sex attacks on foreigners.
The 20-year-old said the guide offered to show her around Jaipur, famous for its grand palaces and forts, on Sunday before assaulting her on the outskirts of the “Pink City” in the evening.
The woman said she was given food laced with drugs before being attacked by the man thought to be aged about 25, Dharam Chand Jain, police inspector-general for Jaipur district, told AFP.
“The 20-year-old tourist had arrived in Jaipur yesterday (Sunday) and met the accused man near the hotel who introduced himself as a tour guide,” Jain said.
“They went to a couple of places on his motorbike during the day,” Jain said.
“The accused offered to drop her at the hotel in the evening but took her to a desolate area… and allegedly raped her.”
The man fled after the woman’s screams were overheard by villagers who rushed to help, according to local media reports.
“The tourist alleged that she was offered some food which might have been laced with drugs,” Jain said, adding that blood tests have been conducted to determine the type of drugs used.
The case is the latest in a string of high-profile sex attacks that have highlighted high levels of violence against women in the world’s second most populous country.
Police arrested eight men on Monday over the brutal gang-rape and murder of a Nepali woman earlier this month in Rohtak city northwest of Delhi, an attack that sparked candlelit vigils and other protests.
The woman’s body was discovered dumped in a field and an official has said an autopsy showed stones, blades and sticks had been inserted inside her.
“Eight accused have been arrested and one is absconding” and those held have “confessed to the crime”, Yash Pal Singal, Haryana state director-general of police, told AFP.
India has faced intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women following the fatal gang rape of an Indian medical student in New Delhi in December 2012, which sparked a global outcry.
Last month six men from the eastern city of Kolkata were charged with kidnapping and gang-raping a 22-year-old Japanese tourist.
The woman was allegedly held hostage for a month after travelling to the Buddhist shrine of Bodh Gaya in Bihar state.
In the latest case, the woman has undergone a medical examination and was helping police try to identify her attacker, Jain said.
The Japanese embassy said it was gathering information about the attack and could offer no further comment.
The incident risks dealing another blow to the country’s tourism industry. Britain and France revised their travel advisories for India last January, warning visitors about the risk of sexual attacks, after two cases of foreigners being raped.
“After such incidents tourism is the first casualty,” Gour Kanjilal, executive director of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, told AFP.
“We have been issuing instructions to tourists not to accept help or food from strangers,” he said.
Jaipur and the rest of Rajasthan state draws thousands of tourists every year to its palaces and forts built by the former Maharaja rulers, some in dusty-pink sandstone.
Sex attacks against women from Western countries have received major media coverage in India while similar attacks on local women have drawn only a fraction of the attention.
In January 2014 a 51-year-old Danish tourist was robbed and gang-raped at knifepoint in Delhi. In 2013 a Swiss cyclist holidaying in the central state of Madhya Pradesh was robbed and raped by five men, all of whom were later jailed for life.