Swiss woman's alleged Indian rapists appear in court

In this Sunday, March 17, 2013, photo, five men, faces covered, who are among the six accused of raping a Swiss tourist who was cycling with her husband in central India, stand at a police control room after they were detained, in Datia, India. The attack occurred Friday night as the Swiss couple camped in a forest in Datia district. AP Photo

NEW DELHI Six men accused of raping a Swiss tourist who was cycling with her husband in central India have been produced in court and charged with gang rape.

Police Superintendent Chandra Shekhar Solanki says the men were arrested in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh state and are poor farmers from nearby villages.

The men were arrested Sunday and charged on Monday.

The attack occurred Friday night as the Swiss couple camped in a forest in Datia district.

They told police that the woman had been raped by seven or eight men, but that it was dark and they could not be sure of the exact number. They said the husband also was attacked by the men.

The woman, 39, was treated Saturday at a hospital in the nearby city of Gwalior and was released later that day, police said.

The couple, who were on a three-month vacation in India, had visited the temple town of Orchha and were planning to cycle to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal, nearly 130 miles away.

They set out from Orchha on Friday and pitched their tent in a forest near Jatia village when they were attacked by a group of men armed with wooden sticks, police said.

The men beat up the husband, tied him to a tree and then raped the woman, police said.

The gang rape in December of a 23-year-old student aboard a moving bus in New Delhi, the capital, set off nationwide protests, sparking a debate about the treatment of women in India and highlighting the inability of law enforcement agencies to protect them.

One of six suspects in the December attack was found dead in a New Delhi jail this past week. Authorities said he hanged himself, but his family and lawyer insisted foul play was involved, and a magistrate is investigating. Four other men and a juvenile remain on trial for the attack.

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