Sunday 18 March 2018

Family travel to India as aid worker in rape case attempts

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

THE family of an Irish aid worker, who was allegedly raped in India, is travelling to the subcontinent to be with her after she attempted to take her own life.

It is understood that the 21-year-old woman took a mixture of sleeping pills, pain-killers and other drugs. She was discovered unconscious in her hotel room on Saturday by a fellow Irish national and taken to a hospital in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

A source close to the woman told the Irish Independent that her family were on the way to India to be with her following the incident.

Some of her friends from NGOs working in India have also been keeping a vigil by her side since the suicide attempt.

Sudeshna Lahiri, deputy director of the Calcutta Medical Research Institute, told reporters over the weekend that the medicines were pumped from the woman’s stomach.

She had been put on a ventilation machine and was under continuous observation from doctors. It is understood that she will make a full recovery.


The woman has claimed she was sexually assaulted on June 1.

She had been celebrating her 21st birthday with friends earlier that night. Police believe the woman, who was working with an NGO in the state of Darjeeling, west Bengal, was drugged after being given tea and was then assaulted.

Last week, she outlined her case in a three- hour statement to a magistrate.

Dibyendu Bhattacharya, lawyer for the accused, has previously told the Irish Independent that his client would deny the allegations.

“He is innocent and this will be proven,” he said.

It is understood that the woman only recently arrived in India on a six-month visa.

Local reports said she knew the accused through a mutual friend but had only met him for the first time at a party.

The Irish embassy in New Delhi is providing consular assistance to the woman’s family.

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