Spanish tourist gangraped in Jharkhand, NCW chair rebukes journo for post on harassment

The survivor’s husband was also beaten up by the accused. Three of the accused have been arrested so far.
Image for representation only
Image for representation only
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A Spanish woman tourist has alleged that she was assaulted and gangraped in Dumka, Jharkhand on March 1, late at night. The horrific crime took place while she and her husband had camped out in Dumka. According to reports, at least seven men assaulted the couple in their tent and raped the woman. They also stole some of their belongings. Three of the accused have been arrested so far, Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren confirmed to media, earlier on Sunday, March 3. Police are on the lookout for the remaining accused. 

The couple, who are on a biking tour of India, shared their ordeal on their Instagram account, on which they have been documenting their world biking tour. In the first story, they said, “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 in the hospital with the police, it happened tonight here in India.”

In the following story, the man adds, “My mouth is destroyed, but Fernanda is worse than me, they have hit me with the helmet several times, with a stone on the head.” 

In the video, in their stories, the couple, who appear extremely distressed and traumatised can also be seen to have sustained multiple injuries on their faces. 

While the National Commission for Women (NCW) took note of the incident, a post by journalist David Josef Volodzko on the incident drew a sharp response from NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma, who accused the journalist of defaming India.

The couple have already covered 66 countries on their motorbike, according to their Instagram posts, and were in India to continue their travels when the alleged gruesome crime occurred. Earlier, they had posted after reaching Kanniyakumari, saying: “We have travelled 170,000 kilometres since we started our world tour more than 5 years ago. In the last 4 months since we entered India via Pakistan, it has been 14,500 km to reach here.” 

According to IANS, on Friday night, the couple left for Bhagalpur via Dumka on their bikes. At around midnight, they stopped at a place called Kunji-Kurumahat before Hansdiha market, where they appear to have camped before they were attacked. IANS also says that the couple managed to reach a police station later the same night and file a complaint.

Taking cognisance of the crime, the National Commission for Women said in a statement, “NCW condemns the brutal gangrape of a Spanish tourist in Dumka, Jharkhand. NCW has been informed that the accused fled from the spot. As per reports, there were 8-10 men involved. The police have just arrested 3 accused persons in the matter. A letter has been sent to DGP to expedite the investigation in this matter and invoke charges of rape under IPC 376D. Seeing the gravity of the situation, Mamta Kumari, a member of NCW will be going to inquire about the facts of the case and meet the victim and concerned police.” 

However, when journalist David Josef Volodzko shared details of the couple’s ordeal on X and went on to draw attention to the larger concern of the safety of women travellers in India, Rekha Sharma dismissed the concerns. She further alleged that Volodzko was “defaming” India.

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