Six men accused of raping a Swiss tourist, who was camping with her husband in central India, have appeared in court and charged with gang rape.

Police Superintendent Chandra Shekhar Solanki said the men were arrested in the Datia district of Madhya Pradesh state.

The men, who are said to be poor farmers from nearby villages, were arrested yesterday and charged today.

The 39-year-old Swiss woman and her husband were touring the state by bicycle.

The attack occurred Friday night as the two camped in a forest in Datia district.

The couple told police that the woman had been raped by seven or eight men, but that it was dark and they could not be sure of the exact number.

The incident has again turned the spotlight on the security of women in the world's largest democracy.

One woman is raped every 20 minutes in India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

But police estimate that only four out of ten rapes are reported, largely due to victims' fear of being shamed by their families and communities.

The attack came three months after the fatal gang rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus, an attack that spurred outrage across India.

Four men and a juvenile are on trial for that attack.

A sixth defendant, who police say was the ringleader, was found dead in his cell last week.