At a time when there is a lot of debate on if India is indeed the world's most dangerous country for women, an Italian woman was reportedly raped in a moving car in Mumbai, Maharashtra, on June 14. The woman, a banker in Italy, was visiting India and was on a sightseeing tour of Mumbai when the incident took place.
The 37-year-old stated in her complaint that she had met the accused during a bus tour on June 14 and he had introduced himself as a tour guide. He offered to show her around the city and the woman then hired his services. When the bus tour came to an end at 7 pm in Juhu, the accused offered to show the victim the bungalow of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, which was close by, and promised to drop her back to her hotel in Colaba.
"He then promised to drop her to the Colaba hotel where she was staying. A cab was booked by the accused and the complainant has told us that he stopped the vehicle nearby to purchase liquor," a police official told ANI.
Once back in the car, the accused is said to have forced the woman to consume alcohol. When she resisted, the accused groped her. The woman fought back, but the accused continued to assault her, after which he is said to have choked and raped her in the vehicle. He also threatened her not to talk about the incident with anyone.
The victim then approached the Italian embassy, which asked her to file a complaint with the Mumbai police. The woman gave her statement at the Colaba police station, which later transferred the case to the Juhu police.
The Mumbai police arrested the accused in the case and he has been identified as Rakesh Neelkanth, a resident of Colaba. He is said to be a guide by profession and had escaped from Mumbai after committing the crime, reported India Today.
The police also believe that the cab driver too was involved in the case. "We are investigating what the driver was doing while all this was happening and whether he was in cahoots with the accused."
The victim came to India in December 2017 and was in Mumbai since June 11.
This comes days after a 20-year-old Canadian woman was reportedly raped by the manager of a south Delhi hotel. The woman told the Hauz Khas police that the hotel manager assaulted her after they met at a party and he offered to drop her home. Instead, he took her to his place in East Delhi, spiked her drink and raped her, reported the Times of India.
Just a few days ago, The Thomson Reuters Foundation released a report as per which India was considered the most dangerous country for women. The report said that the ranking was due to the risks women faced in the country such as sexual violence and harassment, the threat of human trafficking and other issues related to customs and traditions.