Indian police arrest man over alleged rape of 4-year-old Iranian girl

PANAJI, India (AFP) - Indian police said on Tuesday that they had arrested a man in the tourist state of Goa for allegedly raping a four-year-old Iranian girl holidaying with her mother.

Goan police arrested the 32-year-old man on Monday after the alleged attack on the girl on Jan 22 in the northern village of Arpora, where he lived and the Iranians were staying, police inspector Paresh Naik said.

The girl told her mother about the incident on Monday, prompting her to lodge a police complaint.

"Police began search operations immediately and nabbed him", despite the man's attempts to escape on learning of the complaint, the inspector said.

India's record on sexual violence has been in the spotlight since protests erupted more than a year ago over the treatment of women following the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi.

Though cases of sexual violence against foreigners are not new, the attention on rape in the national and international media has shone on a light on the frequency of attacks against women across the country.

The vast majority of the victims are Indians. But some of the attacks involve tourists, such as a 51-year-old Dutch women who was gang-raped in the capital earlier this month.

In December, Goan police arrested a yoga teacher accused of raping one of his holidaying German students.

Earlier this month, Britain and France revised their travel advisories for India to warn visitors about the risk of sexual attacks.

"Women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are travelling in a group," the British advisory posted on the government website said.

The French foreign office also advised its citizens to exercise "utmost caution" in an advisory updated.