A Swiss couple was so traumatized after being assaulted by a group of boys in Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh that they refused to file an FIR, according to an NDTV report. The channel reported that while the woman was forced to take selfies with the minor boys, her male companion was beaten up badly, leading him with a cracked skull.
The shameful incident, one of many against foreign tourists who come to India to experience the country's famous hospitality, four days ago, sent political shockwaves on a day the Chief Minister of the state also visited the Taj Mahal on a cleanliness drive.
IANS reported that Marie Droz was discharged from Delhi's Apollo Hospital yesterday and her companion Quentin Jeremy Clerc's condition was improving, even as five persons, including three minors, were taken into custody for the crime. Yogi Adityanath promised strict action and better security.
The Swiss embassy in New Delhi confirmed the October 22 attack and said it was providing them consular services. The couple was walking alongside a train track in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra when the youths started harassing them.
Senior Superintendent of Police Agra, Amit Pathak, said late on Thursday evening that five persons, including three minors, have been taken into custody for the crime.
Sushma Swaraj sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the assault. Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons expressed deep concern.
"You would kindly appreciate that such incidents negatively impact our image and are detrimental to our efforts in promoting India as a tourism destination," Alphons told the Chief Minister in a letter.
He said a "fast and speedy response in identifying and ensuring speedy action including conviction of the guilty would be reassuring" and would send a "good message of our efforts to prevent recurrence of such incidents".
Police took the Swiss couple to a private hospital in Agra where first aid was given.
Adityanath said touts and anti-social elements who bring a bad name to Agra and the country would be firmly dealt with. Providing security to tourists would be a top priority.
Meanwhile, CPI-M leader Brinda Karat wrote to the Swiss envoy in India expressing "strong protest" over the "failure" of the authorities to provide minimum security to tourists in a wider area that houses the Taj Mahal, India's biggest tourists draw.
"As a citizen of India, I am writing to you to express my deep regret at the shocking and horrifying violence that two young Swiss nationals ... had to face on their trip to Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. It is shameful for us as Indians that two young tourists who had gone to visit the beautiful symbol of love should have to face this horror. Please convey our very best wishes for their speedy recovery," she said.
Condemning the assault on the Swiss tourists, the Congress said the incident "unmasks the ugly face of Anti-Romeo Squads" in the state. (With IANS inputs)