Five Arrested in India Over Kidnapping and Gang Rape of Japanese Tourist

A plain-clothes policeman (L) escorts two men who were arrested in connection with the alleged abduction and gang-rape of a Japanese tourist, outside a court in Kolkata January 3, 2015. Stringer/REUTERS

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Indian police have arrested five men in connection with the alleged abduction and gang-rape of a 23-year-old Japanese tourist, officials said on Saturday.

The woman had filed a complaint through the Japanese consulate in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata saying she had been staying in a budget hotel in the city in November when three local men who spoke Japanese befriended her and took her to the seaside resort of Digha in the state of West Bengal.

According to Kolkata police, she said they had robbed her of 76,000 rupees ($1,200) using her ATM card, and then taken her to Bodh Gaya, a major Buddhist pilgrimage and tourist center in the eastern state of Bihar.

There, she alleged that two more men joined them and raped her.

"We have arrested three people from Kolkata and two from Gaya in Bihar in connection with the incident," said Pallav Kanti Ghosh, a senior police official in Kolkata.

He said two of them had been charged with gang-rape.

The incident has again turned the spotlight on the safety of women in the world's largest democracy.

Millions of Indians took to the streets in 2012, after a medical student was gang-raped and killed in New Delhi, to demand official action to reduce the number of assaults on women.

($1 = 63.2700 Indian rupees)