Women Panel Head Slams India Warning Post After Jharkhand Gangrape Shocker

David Josef Volodzko's post sparked strong responses. While some expressed shock, others said their experience during India trips has been different.

Women Panel Head Slams India Warning Post After Jharkhand Gangrape Shocker

NCW chief Rekha Sharma had a sharp response to the US journalist's post

New Delhi:

A US-based journalist's post on "sexual aggression" in India in the wake of the Jharkhand gangrape allegations has drawn a sharp response from National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma.

Ms Sharma questioned if the post's author, David Josef Volodzko, had reported to police any of the incidents he had mentioned in his post. "Writing only on social media and defaming whole country is not good choice," she added.

David Josef Volodzko's blue tick profile on X describes him as the author of a newsletter on political extremism, The Radicalist. It also says he has earlier written for prominent publications such as New York Magazine, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

Responding to the Jharkhand incident, in which a Spanish woman has alleged that she was gangraped in Dumka, Volodzko wrote, "The level of sexual aggression I witnessed while living in India for several years was unlike anywhere else I have ever been."

He then claimed that a British woman once requested him to let her sleep in his bunk during a train ride in India "because a man walking by in the hall had licked her foot and she felt unsafe". He also alleged that a young man he had introduced to a woman friend groped her instead of shaking her hand. "I never met a female traveler who had not been groped or assaulted or worse, even if they had only been in country for mere days," he alleged. "I love India. It is and always will be one of my favorite places in the world. But I have advised female friends who asked me not to travel there alone. This is a real problem in Indian society that warrants more attention and that I hope will improve in time," Volodzko added.

The post on X sparked strong, and varied, responses. While some expressed shock, others said their experience during their India trips has been completely different.

The Jharkhand government has, meanwhile, formed a special investigation team to probe the Spanish tourist's allegations. Three persons have been arrested and a search has been launched to catch the other accused.

The woman has alleged that the incident took place on Friday night, when she and her partner were spending the night in a tent at Kurumahat, about 300 km from state capital Ranchi.

Police have said a patrol team found the couple on the roadside. "The patrol team sensed that something had happened to them. Since they were speaking in Spanish, the police could not understand what they were saying. The policemen brought them to a local hospital assuming they needed some treatment," senior officer Pitambar Singh Kherwar said, according to news agency PTI.

The Spanish woman told the doctors that she was sexually assaulted, police said. "We were informed about the incident around 1.30 am on Saturday. The investigation started as soon as we received the information. We spoke to the victim. We detained some people and they admitted to their involvement. The accused took some other names. We have formed a team and raids are being conducted to catch the other accused. We are also taking the help of a forensic team and CID," the officer said.

District Civil Surgeon Baccha Prasad Singh has told PTI that the woman, aged around 28, and her 64-year-old husband were being treated at a state-run hospital in Dumka and both are out of danger.