New Delhi: An American teacher was on her first ever trip to India during her summer break when she was allegedly gang-raped in a Delhi hotel. Nine months later, she has returned to record her statement and identify her alleged rapists.
- US tourist, 25, alleges she was gang-raped by tour guide, hotel staff
- She filed a case after returning home in October through an NGO
- She is back in Delhi to identify alleged rapists, record statement
The 25-year-old had taken a packaged tour to see India in April. She has alleged that her tour guide laced her water bottle with sedatives and gang-raped her along with employees of the hotel.
"I had come on a guided tour, and I was straightaway taken to the five star hotel in Connaught Place. I was drugged first two days and raped by two employees of the tour company and two of the hotel who I recognise by face," she told NDTV.
The women did not go to the police while in India but registered a case through a US-based non-profit after she returned to her home in Pennsylvania. She said the process of filing the case in India from US was very difficult. In her statement today she repeated her charges.
"I have no memories of the incident. I do not remember writing a good feedback of the tour agency. I regained my memory three months later towards end of July and then decided to file an FIR. First reaction of the tour agency and hotel was that they were shocked. But they were not interested in finding out why it happened and who were responsible. They were only worried about their image," she said.
The woman said it was because of the help and support of her family and friends that she registered a case. "I got in touch with an NGO, which alerted the American embassy, and forwarded my complaint letter to the Delhi police commissioner. But despite having written in by October, the FIR was delayed by a month and a half," she said.
Delhi police said the name of the NGO - American Overseas Domestic Crisis Violence Centre - had them confused that it was a complaint of domestic violence and they forwarded the mail to the women's cell. A case was registered in November after the women's cell sent it back to the police and thereafter the woman's statement was sought from the NGO. She was later asked to come to India to identify the accused.
The police have questioned 11 men in the case so far, including the tour guide and the staff at the hotel. They however said arrests will only be made after the complainant identifies the accused.
"It took months. It was very frustrating the process of filing the case, not confident with the way Delhi police was handling it. But I stuck on as I want justice for what happened to me, and I know there are other victims of these people," the woman said.
Over 1,900 rape cases have been registered this year in Delhi alone.
"I was very excited when I came to India. It was my lifelong dream. I still have love for India as a country. But this problem the country has with rape and violence is a serious issue," the woman said.