Japanese student raped for 12 days in Gaya at gunpoint

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Kolkata/Gaya:   A 21-year-old Japanese student was allegedly gang-raped at gunpoint for 12 days at Paro village in Bodh Gaya, a key Buddhist destination and tourist hub in Bihar.

While the rape is alleged to have occurred in December, a team of Kolkata police, assisted by Gaya counterparts, arrested the two accused Friday. Three others accused of molesting her were arrested on December 31.

According to joint commissioner of police (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh, the woman came to Kolkata on November 20. She was staying at a hotel in Sudder Street. Ghosh said Sahid alias Japani Sahid, Sabir and Wasim Khan, posing as tour guides, took the woman to Digha, a beach town in Bengal, on November 22. According to a complaint filed with the Kolkata police, she was molested by the trio in Digha where they also forced her to withdraw Rs. 75,000 from an ATM.

She then returned to Kolkata on November 26 when Sabir reportedly told her to visit Gaya as she is a Buddhist. He then gave her references of Sahid Khan and Javed Khan, two guides in Gaya. She reportedly reached Gaya on November 26 itself.

According to the woman’s statement before a magistrate, Sahid and Javed took her to Paro where they allegedly confined her to a room and raped her at gunpoint for 12 days. The woman said she managed to escape to Varanasi where she met a group of Japanese tourists.

When she narrated her ordeal to them, some women in the group reportedly told her that they knew Japani Sahid, Sabir and Wasim Khan and had suffered similar experiences.

She later reached Kolkata and with help from the Japanese consulate, met commissioner of police Surajit Kar Purakayastha on December 26.

She lodged a complaint of molestation and fraudulent withdrawal of money. But on December 29, when she was produced before the magistrate to give a statement under Section 164 of the CrPC, she alleged rape by Sahid and Javed.

Japani Sahid, Sabir and Wasim Khan were arrested from Sudder Street on the night of December 31. Their interrogation led the police on the trail of brothers Sahid and Javed, sons of Rashid Khan. The two had gone into hiding but were arrested from Paro village on Friday morning after police intercepted their mobile phone usage, Gaya city DSP Alok Kumar Singh said.

They were produced in a Gaya court by the Kolkata police who also procured transit remand for taking the accused to Kolkata.

Kolkata police inspector Anay Bhaumik said Sahid and Javed were part of a crime syndicate that had been targeting foreign tourists in Digha beach of Bengal for a long time.

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