• Switzerland's news in English

India jails six men in Swiss gang-rape case

AFP · 21 Jul 2013, 10:53

Published: 21 Jul 2013 10:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"All the accused have been convicted and we are satisfied with the judgement," said the public prosecutor in the case, Rajendra Tiwari, after the court ruling in central India, the semi-official Press Trust of India and other local media reported.

The rape of the Swiss woman came three months after the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus in Delhi in December, which brought simmering anger about the treatment of women in India to the surface.

India's legal system has faced intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women in the world's largest democracy following the Delhi gang rape in which the victim died of horrific internal injuries.

The six sentenced to life on Saturday were detained soon after the attack on the Swiss woman in mid-March in a remote, forested area of Datia district in central Madhya Pradesh state where the victim was camping with her husband.

Her 30-year-old husband was tied up as the woman was assaulted and the pair were also robbed, according to police.

The Swiss couple were reported to be on an adventure tourism trip in India and were cycling through the northern part of the country.

Only four of the six men were charged with gang-rape because testimony from the victim said two of them were "only present at the crime scene", according to M.L. Dhody, a Datia police officer.

The other two accused were charged with assault and robbery but still received life-sentences at the court in Datia district.

Five of the men were farmers in their twenties while the sixth was 19 at the time of the attack, police said.

Weeks of massive demonstrations over the Delhi rape prompted India's parliament to toughen sex offence laws including doubling the minimum prison sentence for gang-rape to 20 years.

Part of the legal shake-up involved the establishment of fast-track courts to try accused rapists in India's clogged legal system where cases can often drag on for years.

The fast-track trial of four adult suspects in the Delhi rape - another died while in jail from a suspected suicide in March - is underway in the Indian capital.

A fifth accused is being tried as a juvenile.

One woman is raped every 20 minutes, the National Crime Records Bureau says. But the crime is vastly under-reported because of the social stigma associated with such attacks.

The publicity generated by the Delhi rape and the issue of violence against women in India led to a 35 percent fall in female visitors to India in the first three months of the year, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India said recently.

Story continues below…

Indian women are by far the main targets of rape. Earlier this month police arrested eight suspects over the gang-rape of four schoolgirls abducted from their convent boarding house in the country's east.

But there have been also been a string of cases involving foreign women over the past months.

Indian police said in June they were investigating the gang-rape of a US tourist by a group of truckers while an Irish charity worker was reported to have been raped in the eastern city of Kolkata that same month.

Indian officials say there is no need for alarm, pointing out that foreigners are victims of crime the world over and the vast majority of visitors experience no safety problems.

But travel advice from a host of countries stresses the need for visitors to take care in India.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available