Six months after the deadly gang rape of a 23-year-old in New Delhi set off a wave of protests and a little over three months after a Swiss cycling tourist was gang-raped in front of her husband in Datia, multiple reports out of the Indian mountain escape of Manali say a 30-year-old female American tourist was hitchhiking home late Monday night when she was allegedly driven to a secluded area and gang-raped by three men. Yes, it appears that India's rape crisis is still out of control.
"The woman cannot remember the number plate of the truck and she could not understand what the accused were talking about. They drove the truck to an isolated spot and raped her for nearly one hour," police inspector Abhimanyu Kumar said, according to the Associated Foreign Press. The woman, according to the Associated Press, was returning to her guest home after visiting a friend when she accepted a ride for the truck driver. She filed a rape report immediately after the incident. "No arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon," the AP adds, but it's not for the lack of trying: Officials in Manali, popular for its adventure travel and Hindu heritage, issued an alert, set up roadblocks, and ordered truck drivers to report to police station. Kumar, the AFP reports, said that medical tests confirmed that the woman had been raped.
The attack comes as attention to the country's seemingly endless reports of brutal rapes appeared to stop receiving as much international attention as they did throughout the winter. On December 28, Jyoti Singh Pandey, the 23-year-old student who was raped by six men on a moving bus, died of her internal injuries. News of the traumatic episode spurred nation-wide protests and led to political promises about India's notoriously weak sexual assault enforcement laws. But that didn't seem to stop the sexual violence: another gang-rape was reported just days after Pandey died, the Swiss tourist was raped by a group of men in March, the same month when a seven-year-old was raped in a state-run school, and in April a four-year-old rape victim died while being treated in a hospital in Nagpur. And these are just the stories, whether because they fell within a certain timeline or because they were so horrific, that garnered international attention; there are no doubt many more attacks which don't garner those kinds of headlines.
India's tourism has seen a major decline in the number of people visiting the country. "Foreign tourist arrivals have dropped 25 percent since the December gang rape in New Delhi, and the number of female travelers fell by 35 percent, according to the study by the New Delhi-based Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry," the AP reported last month. Americans sure aren't going to want to visit the peaks of Manali anytime soon.