India: Two held over gang rape of Danish woman in Delhi

The woman was staying in Delhi's backpacker district when she lost her way, as Andrew North reports

Police in India have arrested two men in connection with the gang rape of a Danish woman close to her Delhi hotel.

The 51-year-old tourist was raped at knife-point by a group of men in the Paharganj area on Tuesday evening after she lost her way and asked for help.

A man has also been arrested in Chennai after allegedly raping an 18-year-old German on a train last week.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.

It's hard to imagine a worse headline for India's image abroad, after the battering it has taken over the issue of rape.

After the fatal assault on a Delhi student just over a year ago, the city has earned the unwelcome title "India's rape capital". The picture is not as bad as the media paints, Indian officials say. Other countries also have a rape problem, they protest.

But ever since the Delhi gang-rape case, the safety of women and the discrimination they suffer in Indian society has been in the spotlight. The Indian media just as much as the foreign media are giving the issue much more space.

And while the case involving the Danish woman is getting priority attention from the Delhi police, many say what's still needed is the justice system and Indian society in general to take the issue more seriously.

The government tightened laws on sexual violence last year after widespread protests following the attack.

But violence and discrimination against women remain deeply entrenched in India's staunchly patriarchal society.

The Danish woman told police that she approached the group of men after losing her way back to her hotel near New Delhi Railway Station, in a busy backpacker district frequented by foreign tourists.

The men robbed her of her belongings and raped her, police told the BBC.

Police described the men arrested as vagabonds but gave no further details.

New Delhi television (NDTV) is reporting that four men have been arrested.

Delhi police acted with unusual speed in responding to this case, says the BBC's Andrew North in the Indian capital.

Activists say that's because it involved a foreigner and India's international image is at stake, after a sharp fall in the number of female travellers.

The woman flew out of India on Wednesday morning after making a detailed statement in the presence of the Danish ambassador, police say.

An 18-year-old German woman was reportedly raped by a man sharing her compartment on a train travelling from Mangalore to Chennai in southern India on Friday.

A man, described as a migrant worker from Bihar state, was arrested on Tuesday, Der Spiegel newspaper reported.

The young woman reportedly said she was too scared to shout for help and alert the other passengers sleeping in the same carriage.

Although cases involving foreigners continue to get far more attention in the media and from the police, Indian women who are raped are still far less likely to receive justice, our correspondent says.

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