Three Nepali drivers held for US national's gang-rape

Manali, June 6 (IANS) Three Nepali truck drivers were arrested Thursday for the gang-rape of a 30-year-old US national in this Himachal Pradesh tourist resort two days ago, police said here.

Arjun, Lucky and Som Bahadur Tamang, in the age group of 22-24, had been living in the state for a long time, Superintendent of Police Vinod Dhawan told IANS.

"Two of them were arrested from Patlikuhl (20 km before Manali) and one from Mandi town," Dhawan added.

The victim, who reached this tourist resort, some 500 km from national capital Delhi, along with three other women just a day before the crime, alleged that she was early Tuesday repeatedly raped by three men, who offered her a lift in a vehicle late in the night when she could not find a taxi on the outskirts of Manali.

Police said the men drove the woman to a secluded spot and raped and robbed her.

"The victim's medical examination report confirmed sexual assault," Dhawan said.

He said investigators used clues given by the victim about the vehicle to crack the case.

"The specific clue that the vehicle's front windshield was broken from the left side and the mapping of mobile phones helped the investigating agency to nab the accused," he said.

Dhawan said the woman, who is still in Manali, was yet to identify the accused.

Police Wednesday seized the vehicle used in the crime. Its owner, Manoj Kumar, told investigators that Arjun was hired as a driver just four-five days before the crime.

This incident has brought back memories of 2009, when an 18-year-old British volunteer teacher was raped by two cab drivers in Palampur town of Kangra district.

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