A Swiss female tourist has been gang-raped in rural central India, police say, as the nation grapples with recent high profile cases of sexual violence.

The woman was on a cycling trip with her husband in impoverished Madhya Pradesh state, when seven to eight men attacked the couple on Friday night, sexually assaulting the woman and robbing the pair, police said.

The attackers “tied up the man and raped the woman in his presence”, local police official SM Afzal said, adding that they stole 10,000 rupees ($177) and a mobile phone from the woman.

The attack comes just months after thousands of people took to the streets to protest against India’s treatment of women following the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi in December.

The Swiss couple were on their way to the tourist destination of Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal monument, in northern India when they stopped to camp for the night in a village.

Indian media reports said the men were wielding sticks when they attacked the couple.

After the attack, the rape victim, aged about 40, was admitted to hospital in Gwalior city, 342 kilometres from state capital Bhopal, local police official MS Dhodee said.

The victim was conscious on Saturday and speaking to authorities, police said. No other details of her condition were known.

She told police that the couple were both Swiss, police said.

“The victims, who belong to Switzerland, put up a tent to stay overnight” when the attack occurred, Mr Afzal said.

The Swiss ministry said its diplomats in India were in contact with local authorities and that it hoped the attackers would be “swiftly identified and would appear before a court to answer for their actions”.


Source: ABC News