The American tourist who reported yet another gang rape in India early Tuesday morning, after she couldn't get a cab back to her guest house in the popular resort town of Manali, has already picked all three of her attackers out of a lineup following an extensive police lockdown. And while Indian authorities were efficient this time, the unfolding horror of the country's latest rape case isn't exactly making tourists feel any safer. "Investigators obtained a cellphone number believed to belong to the principal suspect and used it to track down the men," reports NBC News's John Newland, citing a police official in the mountainous northern province and adding that all the three suspects will be taken to court, officially identified, and charged on Thursday afternoon.
The men appear to have picked up the woman, now identified as 31 years old and hailing from California, at around 1:15 a.m. after she had visited her friends but failed to hail a cab back to her temporary lodging in Manali and began hitchhiking. They promised her a ride home in their truck but allegedly drove her to a secluded area and proceeded to rape her for an hour, police said. "I'm warning all tourists who are coming here. She should have avoided the truck. If she wanted any help, she should seek police," B. Kamal Kumar, the police official in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, told reporters. The suspects, according to the Associated Press, are between the ages of 22 and 24.
The alleged attack, of course, would be just one of many to surface amidst nationwide outrage over the last six months — and one of several in which a tourist was the victim. On Wednesday, a businessman man was arrested in Kolkata for raping an Irish woman who volunteered at a children's charity. In March, a Swiss cyclist was gang-raped in front of her husband. All the rapes and gang rapes have become, for much of the rest of the world, the only major stories to emerge from the country, and that's crippling India's tourism business.
"Foreign tourist arrivals have dropped 25 percent since the December gang rape in New Delhi, and the number of female travelers fell by 35 percent, according to the study by the New Delhi-based Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry," the AP reported last month. And tourists who do go there, as the Wall Street Journal reports, are bringing defensive weapons like tasers and pepper spray. "Tuesday's attack is the last straw," a tourist who is traveling to India with her fiancé told the Journal. "I would advise my friends to lay off from India."
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