Manali, India
Manali, India Reuters

The epidemic of rape in India continues unabated. Media reports indicate that an American hitchhiking tourist was assaulted by three men in the city of Manali in the northern province of Himachal Pradesh, about 300 miles north of New Delhi.

"The 30-year-old was raped by men in a truck on Monday night. They offered her a lift, and she accepted it," police inspector Abhimanyu Kumar told Agence France Presse.

"The woman cannot remember the number plate of the truck, and she could not understand what the accused were talking about. They drove the truck to an isolated spot and raped her for nearly one hour.”

As part of the investigation to find the culprits, Kumar said every truck driver in the Manali area was ordered to report to the local police station.

Senior local police official Vinod Dhawan told BBC Hindi that authorities have also set up checkpoints in the area and that they had “found some clues at the crime scene."

AFP also reports that the young woman, who arrived in Manali on Monday, agreed to stay in the area, which is popular with backpackers, in order to identify the suspects once they are arrested.

Neelchand Sharma, the station house officer of the Manali police station, told the New York Times that the victim described the alleged rapists as young men between the ages of 19 and 25.

In the wake of the Manali incident and other reports of rapes committed on foreign women tourists, including an attack on a Swiss cyclist in Madhya Pradesh in March, the rape of a Korean woman in a hotel in the same state in January and an assault on an Irish charity worker in Kolkata last week, India is bound to continue to lose more appeal for world travelers, particularly women.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, a trade organization, said earlier this year that the number of foreign women visiting India plunged by 35 percent after the infamous gang rape of an Indian medical student on a bus in Delhi triggered huge protests and headlines across the globe.