US national alleges rape in Mumbai ISKCON temple (Lead)

February 4th, 2009 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Feb 4 (IANS) A 23-year-old US national has said she was raped by an unidentified man in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple premises here, though the police Wednesday said it was a case of molestation.The victim, whose name is not revealed in accordance with Indian laws, in her police complaint Tuesday said an unidentified man forced himself into her room at the temple guest house Monday night and raped her.

“Our investigations are on in the matter. So far, we have confirmed that it is a molestation case and not rape,” senior police inspector Deepak Katkade told IANS.

A spokesman of the ISKCON temple termed the US national’s charge as “baseless and intended to malign” the image of the place of worship.

In the police complaint, the victim said when she shouted for help and people rushed there, the attacker escaped. She was staying in the guest house of the temple in the upscale Juhu locality of northwest Mumbai for four days. She also gave a detailed description of the attacker to the police.

Despite the allegation of rape, the victim refused to undergo a medical examination, the police have said, adding that investigations were underway to trace the attacker from the description she has given.

The US national is related to a life member of ISKCON. Outsiders and non-members are not permitted to stay in the 76-room guest house of the imposing temple.

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