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JAIPUR, India – Police were searching on Monday for a man who raped a Japanese student sightseeing in northern India as recent attacks on women have renewed public fury and horror over the country's inability to halt chronic sexual assault.
The 20-year-old student attacked Sunday is the second Japanese woman raped in the South Asian country in recent months.
The man had met her in Jaipur and offered to act as her tour guide, according to police inspector general D.C. Jain.
The man later took the woman on his motorcycle to a farming village outside the city in Rajasthan state, where he raped her on the side of the road before leaving her, Jain said. Villagers who heard the woman crying helped her contact police. A medical examination confirmed the woman had been raped.
Police were searching for a man in his 20s and were certain "the person who committed the rape is from Jaipur," Jain said, though police have yet to identify a particular suspect.
In December, a 22-year-old research scholar from Japan was held captive and gang raped for nearly three weeks in a village near a Buddhist pilgrimage center in Bihar state. Police have arrested several suspects in that case, which also involved a tourist guide who had offered to help the woman with sightseeing. She escaped from captivity on Dec. 26 and fled to the eastern city of Kolkata.
High-profile rapes, including with the fatal gang rape of a New Delhi woman on a moving bus two years ago, sparked outrage and led to stronger laws against sex crimes, but continuing attacks have led activists to demand police do more to keep India's women safe.
Protesters including one victim's sister blocked a major road outside of New Delhi over the weekend, demanding police find the perpetrators of a brutal attack on a Nepalese woman who was killed in the state of Haryana.
Police say the 28-year-old victim had been staying with her sister when she went missing Feb. 1. Her body was discovered three days later, and an autopsy revealed that several organs were missing and that objects including stones, blades and a stick had been inserted into her body.
Haryana police official Muhammad Akil said new clues that would lead to the culprits being arrested soon, but he gave no details.
"This is a matter of serious crime," police superintendent Shashank Anand said in announcing a special investigative team had been formed.
The victim's sister said police had moved "too slow" and told reporters she wanted the culprits to be hanged. She is not named according to Indian laws forbidding the identification of rape victims.
"I get chills when I think of what happened to my sister, I want justice for my sister," she said.