'Raped' Irish woman in India hospital after drug overdose

KOLKATA (AFP) - An Irish charity worker, allegedly raped by an Indian businessman, has been taken to hospital after an overdose of prescription drugs, a medical official and police said on Sunday.

The 21-year-old woman was discovered unconscious in her hotel room on Saturday and taken to a hospital in the eastern city of Kolkata, a medical official at the hospital told reporters.

"She had consumed a cocktail of sleeping pills, pain killers and other drugs," said Dr Sudeshna Lahiri, deputy director of the Calcutta Medical Research Institute.

"It is a case of drug overdose," Dr Lahiri said. "The medicines were pumped out of her stomach," she said, adding that she would be better in several days.

"She was found unconscious in her hotel room on Saturday by a fellow Irish national who is staying in the same hotel," she said.

The woman filed a complaint with police on June 1 saying that an Indian businessman had drugged and raped her in his home in the city.

The Irish national, an engineering student who came to India to volunteer with a local charity, had befriended the businessman at a busy market and they decided to party together to celebrate her birthday, before going back to his house, police have said.

The woman had been due to make a more detailed statement to police on Saturday about the incident, a police officer said, confirming she had been taken to hospital.

The alleged assault comes as India faces intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women, following the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi last December which sparked violent protests.