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Published: Wednesday January 15, 2014 MYT 5:55:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday January 15, 2014 MYT 5:55:53 PM

Danish tourist says was gang-raped in Indian capital - police

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Police were questioning a group of men on Wednesday after a Danish tourist said she was robbed and then gang-raped in the heart of the Indian capital's tourist district, putting sexual violence in India further into the spotlight.

Police said the 51-year-old tourist had filed a police complaint of rape in the district of Paharganj, a popular tourist area packed with backpacker hotels and restaurants near New Delhi railway station.

"A robbery and rape case has been registered," Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told Reuters. "We are questioning a group of men."

Danish ambassador Freddy Svane said there "is a case of alleged raped concerning a Danish citizen," but gave no further details.

The Dane was walking through the area of narrow lanes and dark streets on Tuesday night when she asked two men for directions to her hotel. Five to six more men then appeared and she was raped, according to senior police official Deepak Mishra. She then told her hotel staff of the attack, he said.

The tourist was robbed of her cash, iPad and telephone. She refused a medical examination and has since left India to return to Denmark, police said.

India was convulsed by the murder in December 2012 of a woman who was raped and tortured on a moving bus in New Delhi, forcing the country to confront sexual violence and leading to a tightening of rape laws.

Four men were sentenced to death for the murder and another was found hanged in his prison cell. A sixth, who was under 18 at the time of the attack, was earlier sentenced to three years detention, the maximum allowed under juvenile law.

Thousands of urban Indians took to the streets in fury after the attack. The Indian woman became a symbol of dangers women face in a country where a rape is reported on average every 21 minutes and incidents of molestation are common.

A study by India's Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry said that foreign tourist visits to India dropped 25 percent in the three months after the rape and murder of the Delhi woman. Tourist visits by women fell by 35 percent.

(Reporting by Alistair Scrutton and Sruthi Gottipati; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Ron Popeski)

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