South Korean tourist drugged and raped in India

New Delhi: A 23-year-old South Korean college student, holidaying in India on tourist visa reported to Police that she was drugged and raped by the son of a hotel owner as she visited the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh state, central India, reports Dispatch News Desk (DND).

She said she was raped after returning to the hotel from a safari. The incident happened on January 14 but she said she did not have the courage to report it right away. The hotel manager, Deepak Vishwakarma, has reportedly confessed that he raped the Korean student on January 14.

The incident comes on the heels of the brutal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi on December 16 last year that has triggered an outpouring of criticism of the police and inadequate safety for women in Indian society. The incident has shaken the core of the country and it has created ripples which could directly affect the well built image of India globally. While the tourism industry in India is trying to enhance the country’s image, a high-profile case in Delhi has increased concerns regarding the safety of female travelers to India.

The gang rape of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student in Delhi, who was beaten and raped by six men in a moving bus after beating her male companion, has created turbulence among the tourists planning trips to India. The crime against women in India has captured international attention since the Delhi incident. Over 24,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2011.

Travel advisories by the US and other foreign embassies warn women not to travel alone in India, saying they are “at risk and should exercise vigilance”. According to the Indian Department of Tourism, over the first eleven months of 2012, the country welcomed some 5.9 million visitors to its shores, reflecting year-on-year growth of nearly six percent.