Indian police said they arrested three men yesterday over the gang-rape of a US tourist who was attacked after she hitched a ride in a truck.
The 30-year-old American accepted a lift on Monday night in Manali, a tourist destination in the foothills of the Himalayas, after struggling to find a taxi to return to her hotel.
The attack comes as India faces intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women following the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi last December.
The woman has told police that the truck driver and two accomplices abducted her and took her to a secluded spot where they raped her for over an hour.
She has given police a description of the men and also identified the truck model, which is commonly used to transport construction materials in the state.
More than 2,000 trucks a day ply the Manali highway which connects the town with remote Himalayan villages.
Police say they have gathered forensic evidence and identified tire marks from the scene of the attack.
The woman, who cannot be identified under Indian law, is staying under police protection at a hotel in the Manali area, some 500 kilometres north of the capital New Delhi.
The incident follows the alleged rape of a 21-year-old Irish charity worker in the eastern city of Kolkata at the weekend, and comes as India tries to fight widespread sex crime with tougher laws.
A survey by an Indian trade body this year found the number of female tourists visiting the country had dropped by 35 per cent following several sex attacks that made global headlines.
Measures passed by lawmakers in March increased punishments for sex offenders to include the death penalty if a victim dies and a minimum 20-year prison sentence for gang-rape.
We say, “Eye for an Eye!”