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Indian businessman arrested in rape of Irish woman

KOLKATA, India — Police said Wednesday they have arrested a man accused of raping an Irish woman who volunteered at a children's charity in the Indian city of Kolkata.

The suspect, a local businessman, was to be produced in court later Wednesday, according to a police official who declined to be identified because he wasn't authorized to speak to reporters.

The man attended a party the woman hosted to celebrate her 21st birthday on Friday, the official said. The woman told police that she later went to the man's house, where she drank a cup of tea and passed out, and then was raped.

Few other details were immediately available.

The reported assault comes as other attacks against women have heightened concerns about sexual violence in India.

On Tuesday, police reported that an American tourist was gang-raped in the northern Indian resort town of Manali. Three men picked her up in a truck while she was hitchhiking, then drove to a secluded spot and raped her, police officer Sher Singh said.

On Wednesday, another police official in Manali, Neel Chand, said three men were detained on the basis of the description the American woman provided but were later released after the victim said they were not her attackers.

"The only clue the victim provided the police is the color of the truck and a cracked windshield, which may not be accurate because it was at night and the light was very dim. So there still is nothing conclusive in this case," Chand said.

In March, six men were arrested in the gang-rape of a Swiss cyclist, and a British hotel guest jumped from a third-floor window fearing a sexual attack when the hotel owner tried to force his way into her room.

The fatal gang-rape of an Indian student on a bus in New Delhi in December sparked protests demanding better protection for women. In response, the government passed a law increasing prison terms for rape and making voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women punishable under criminal law.

Associated Press writer Chonchui Ngashangva in New Delhi contributed to this story.