Japanese Tourist Raped on Way to Buddhist Shrine, Indian Police Say
Indian police have arrested five men on allegations of kidnapping and raping a Japanese woman over two weeks, according to police.
The woman, who had been studying in India, was allegedly kidnapped by her tour guides as she headed to Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the central state of Bihar, police said. She was held at gunpoint and raped repeatedly by two men, according to Pallab Kanti Ghosh, spokesman for the police in Kolkata, where the case is being investigated.
Bodh Gaya, one of the holiest places in the world for followers of Buddhism, is considered to be the location where Buddha gained enlightenment. It attracts a stream of foreign tourists, including many from Japan, who regularly travel to this and other important Buddhist sites around India.
On Friday police arrested Sajid Khan, 32 years old, and his 25-year-old brother, Jawed Khan, according to Rakesh Kumar, police superintendent in the city of Gaya. The men worked as tour guides in Kolkata and had accompanied the woman to the pilgrimage site, he said.
Three other men were arrested in Kolkata in connection with the case, according to Mr. Ghosh.
Formal charges haven’t been filed against the men. According to police, the preliminary criminal complaints allege that Sajid and Jawed Khan committed rape and that the other three, unnamed men allegedly committed kidnapping and conspiracy.
The five men couldn’t be reached for comment. It is not known if the men have legal representation.
Police claim that the alleged rapists traveled with the victim from Kolkata on Nov. 23. She was first taken to the seaside resort town of Digha, where she was forced to withdraw 76,000 rupees ($1,200) from a cash machine, police say. She was then allegedly taken to Gaya, near the pilgrimage site, where she was locked in a room and raped over the course of two weeks.