By Indrajit Singh
PATNA, India (AP) — Police arrested three Indians for allegedly gang raping a 22-year-old Japanese research scholar near a Buddhist pilgrimage center in eastern India, police said Friday.
Police were looking for two more suspects, who also allegedly kept the Japanese woman as a hostage for nearly three weeks in a village near Bodh Gaya, a town nearly 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Patna, the capital of Bihar state, police officer Akhilesh Singh said.
She managed to escape from their captivity on Dec. 26 and reached Kolkata, once known as Calcutta, where she was based and filed a police complaint. She has been studying life in rural India for some time, Singh said.
A Kolkata-based tourist guide had taken the Japanese woman to Bodh Gaya to show her the Buddhist pilgrimage center, where Gautam Buddha is said to have obtained enlightenment under a tree. The guide was joined by four others in keeping her in captivity and raping her, police officer Singh said.
Two of the arrests were made from the area on Friday and one earlier this week in Kolkata, police said.
India has a long history of tolerance of sexual violence. But a series of high-profile rape cases have triggered a strong public outrage in recent years, leading to tough anti-rape laws.
India has doubled prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalized voyeurism, stalking, and the trafficking of women. The law also makes it a crime for officers to refuse to open cases when complaints are made. (end)