HomeTravel8 men arrested after Spanish travel vlogger, 28, allegedly gang-raped in India

8 men arrested after Spanish travel vlogger, 28, allegedly gang-raped in India


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India police have arrested a total of eight men for their suspected involvement in the recent case where a 28-year-old Spanish woman was allegedly gang-raped, while her husband was held down with a knife and watched helplessly.

What happened

Known online as “Vuelta Al Mundo En Moto” (Spanish for Around The World By Motorbike), the couple, Fernanda and Vincente, are travel vloggers and were roving around India’s Jharkhand state at the time.

Shortly after the incident, Fernanda and Vincente uploaded two videos recounting the alleged assault on their Instagram Stories on Mar. 1, 2024.

They said they were sleeping in a tent in Jharkhand’s Dumka district when seven men allegedly barged in and assaulted them.

Vincente was allegedly held down with a knife while the men took turns to rape Fernanda.

The couple said in the video’s caption: “They have beaten us and robbed us, although not many things because what they wanted was to rape me. We are at the hospital with police. It happened tonight here in India.”

Total of eight men arrested

After the couple reported the assault to the police, they were brought to Saraiyahat Community Health Centre for Fernanda to be tested with a rape kit.

Three men were arrested on Mar. 2 in relation to the couple’s assault, and a special investigation team was set up to locate the other suspects.

On Mar. 5, five more men were arrested, bringing the total detained to eight men.

Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted a senior local police officer saying that the men would face “strict punishment”, if found guilty, according to AFP.

India authorities also handed the couple a S$16,000 (US$12,000) cheque as compensation under a “victim compensation scheme”, NDTV reported.

Fernanda posted a statement on Instagram after the latest arrests, thanking the “efficient” police.

She added: “I ask for justice … (for) all of the women who also have to go through this.”

Sexual violence against women in India

According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau, there were an average of nearly 90 reported rapes a day in India in 2022, AFP reported.

However, the actual number of rapes could be higher as cases may be unreported due to the stigmas around victims and a lack of faith in India’s criminal justice system, where convictions are rare.

A 23-year-old Indian physiotherapy student, Jyoti Singh, was raped, assaulted and left for dead by five men and a 17-year-old boy on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012.

Of the five men, four were convicted in 2013 while the fifth, the suspected ringleader, was found dead in jail in a suspected suicide.

The 17-year-old spent three years in a juvenile detention centre.

The four men were executed on Mar. 20, 2020. The executions were India’s first use of the capital punishment since 2015.

Couple encourage others to visit India

Despite the assault, Fernanda and Vincente encouraged their followers in an Instagram update on Mar. 4 to visit India.

They said India is a country with good people and worth visiting.

The Times of India quoted Fernanda telling reporters on Mar. 5: “People of India are nice. I don’t blame the people, but I blame the criminals. People of India have treated me very well, and were very kind to me.”

Fernanda and Vincente are bound for Nepal.

Top image from @vueltaalmundoenmoto/Instagram

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