JAIPUR, INDIA – Police were searching Monday for a man who raped a Japanese student sightseeing in northern India, while elsewhere they announced the arrest of eight men suspected of brutally raping and killing a Nepalese woman, as India authorities continue to struggle to address chronic sexual violence.
The 20-year-old student attacked Sunday is the second Japanese woman raped in India in recent months. The man had met her in Jaipur and offered to act as her tour guide, according to police inspector general D.C. Jain.
The man later took the woman on his motorcycle to a farming village outside the city in Rajasthan state, where he raped her on the side of the road before leaving her, Jain said. Villagers who heard the woman crying helped her contact police. A medical examination confirmed the woman had been raped.
Police were searching for a man in his 20s and were certain “the person who committed the rape is from Jaipur,” Jain said, though police have yet to identify a particular suspect. Other reports alleged the guide had given the victim drug-laced food.
A series of recent attacks has renewed public fury and horror over India’s inability to halt chronic violence against women, despite strengthening laws against sex crimes in 2013.
In December, a 22-year-old research scholar from Japan was held captive and gang raped for nearly three weeks in a village near a Buddhist pilgrimage center in Bihar state. Police have arrested several suspects in that case, which also involved a tourist guide who had offered to help the woman with sightseeing. She escaped from captivity on Dec. 26 and fled to the eastern city of Kolkata.
In another case, police said Monday that they had arrested eight people suspected in the rape and murder of a Nepalese woman in the northwest Indian state of Haryana.
The 28-year-old woman had been staying with her sister when she vanished on Feb. 1. Her mutilated body was discovered three days later, and an autopsy revealed that several organs were missing and that objects including stones, blades and a stick had been inserted into her body, police said.
The woman’s sister joined hundreds of protesters in blocking a major road outside New Delhi over the weekend to criticize police for moving too slowly in the case.
She told reporters she wanted the culprits to be hanged. “I get chills when I think of what happened to my sister, I want justice for my sister,” she said. She has not been named, in accordance with Indian laws that forbid the identification of living or dead rape victims like her sister.