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A Latvian Tourist Was Raped and Murdered in India

No rape

Four years later, her killers are finally brought to justice.

On April 21, 2018, two fishermen found a woman’s body in a mangrove in Kovalam, a city in Kerala, India. It was, according to BBC News, decomposed and decapitated.

Just a month earlier Liga Skromane, a 33-year-old Latvian tourist, had gone missing while staying at a nearby Ayurvedic resort with her sister, Ilze.

The Independent reports that Liga, who was seeking treatment at the resort for depression, had gone out to buy cigarettes, never to return.

Certain of foul play, Ilze launched a campaign to bring Liga’s killers to justice. After four years, that is finally happening.

On Tuesday, the Indian court found two men – 31-year-old Umesh and 28-year-old Udayakumar – guilty of raping and murdering Skromane. They were given life sentences.

One of them – though it’s unclear which – was a tour guide. It is believed that the men drugged Skromane with marijuana before raping and strangling her.

In addition to life sentences, Umesh and Udayakumar were each fined the equivalent of $2,000 to be paid to Skromane’s family – including Ilze, who watched the court proceedings online from Dublin.

India’s policy regarding sexual violence has fallen under scrutiny in recent years. In 2012, a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped and murdered on a Delhi bus.

Widespread outrage forced the government to introduce tougher anti-rape laws, including the death penalty on rare occasions.  

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