Continued from page 1

Travel industry representatives in India said the incident, coming so soon after the December gang rape in New Delhi, would affect tourism.

“Such incidents will definitely have a negative impact on tourism. It is very unfortunate,” said Subhash Goyal, head of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.

According to government statistics, around 6.5 million foreign tourists visited India in 2011, generating about $120 billion for the nation’s travel and hospitality sector.

The gang rape in December of a 23-year-old student aboard a moving bus in New Delhi set off nationwide protests, sparking a debate about the treatment of women in India and highlighting the inability of law enforcement agencies to protect them.

One of six suspects in the December attack was found dead in a New Delhi jail this past week. Authorities said he hanged himself, but his family and lawyer insisted foul play was involved, and a magistrate is investigating. Four other men and a juvenile remain on trial for the attack.

The incident prompted the government to pass a new law that increased prison terms for rape from the existing seven to 10 years to a maximum of 20 years. The law provides for the death penalty in extreme cases of rape that result in death or leave the victim in a coma. It has also made voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women punishable under criminal law.