Crime Scene
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON GETTY IMAGES/SCOTT OLSON

A Spanish woman who was on a motorbike tour of India was allegedly gang-raped by seven men in the Dumka district of India's eastern state of Jharkhand.

The incident came to light after the woman and her husband put out a video on social media seeking help.

The couple was attacked last Friday when they pitched their tent for the night in the Kurumahat area of the city.

In the video that has been shared on social media, the woman and her husband had visible bruises and injuries on their faces.

"They beat us. They put a knife to my neck, and told me they were going to kill me," the man says in Spanish in the video.

"Something has happened to us that we would not wish on anyone. Seven men have raped me. They have beaten us and robbed us, although not many things because what they wanted was to rape me. We are at the hospital with police. It happened tonight here in India," the text on the video said.

The police have arrested four people in connection with the alleged crime, per the Times of India. According to Dumka police officer Pitamber Singh Kherwar, the four have confessed to raping the woman.

The medical examination of the woman also confirmed that she was sexually assaulted.

The couple were on a motorbike journey across south Asia and were heading to Nepal after having travelled through Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. The incident has sparked a debate on issues related to women's safety in India.

"The horrific story of a Spanish woman gang-raped in Jharkand is a chilling reminder of the threat of violence women across our region face everyday. The constant leering & harassment that those of us who live here have come to accept as normal is really not. It's sick & twisted," commented a user.

Another wrote: "Every Indian should think about what is India's image abroad and what has it done. They should be given death sentence without any delay. A #SpanishWoman comes to visit India with her husband and is raped by 7 young men".

This is not the first time that such an incident has been reported in India. Crimes against women are not uncommon in India, which is a highly conservative society. Deaths due to dowry disputes, female infanticide, rape, and sexual assault cases make it to the headlines of mainstream newspapers almost every day.

The country reports a crime against a woman every three minutes. The rate of crimes against women in Delhi alone is up by 11 per cent. The area recorded 962 cases of violence against women in 2022, as opposed to the 833 cases reported in the same period in 2021.

However, laws have been tightened in India for crimes against women, including rape and domestic violence, after the 2012 Nirbhaya case, where a medical student was brutally raped and killed by a group of men on a bus while she was returning home late in the evening with a male friend.

During the attack, assaulters had thrashed the victim with an iron rod and pulled out her intestines. She died at a hospital 13 days later. The assault sent shockwaves across the country, triggering widespread demonstrations calling for fast-tracking the punishment of the perpetrators.

Last year, a 24-year-old man allegedly strangled his live-in partner to death before hiding her body in a refrigerator at a local dhaba (a roadside local food joint) in west Delhi, India.

The accused, identified as Sahil Gehlot, not only murdered his partner, Nikki Yadav, but also dismembered her body. He owns the dhaba located on the outskirts of Mitraon village in the Najafgarh area of the city.

Gehlot allegedly used his phone's data cord to strangle Yadav. He then went on to marry another woman the same day.