NEW DELHI — The story began on Sudder Street, the stretch of road jam-packed with low-budget accommodations where nearly all foreign backpackers end up when they reach Kolkata. One of them, a Japanese tourist, 22, was surprised to discover that her new Indian acquaintance spoke fluent Japanese and was eager to show her around.
“We made friendlyship, eating together, and talked about each future,” she wrote in broken English about a month later, when she returned to Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, to file a police report. “Then he introduced me to his friend. I made friendliship with him also.”
Over the next weeks, the woman told the police, the men used her A.T.M. cards to drain her bank accounts, then pressed her into traveling with them and finally forced her to have sex. Over the weekend, the police arrested five men on suspicion of various crimes that included theft, wrongful confinement, rape, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy. Only two of the five are accused of rape
Relatives of the accused men have denied the accusations, saying that the woman stayed with them willingly, and even borrowed money when she left at the end of December, said B. K. Chaudhary, a police official in the Gaya district. But her charges echo complaints from other tourists and tourism officials, who say some Kolkata tour guides prey on naïve visitors, befriending them with the goal of stealing their valuables.