In the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri, 40km from Agra, a Swiss tourist couple who were chased and hit with sticks and stones on Sunday afternoon, the Uttar Pradesh Police late on Wednesday arrested a suspect in an attack on them.
Quentin Jeremy Clerc of 24, fractured his skull and suffered nerve damage and his girlfriend named Marie Droz, also 24, was left with broken bones in the attack, after this incident external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said she had sought a report from the state government and a team from the ministry would reach out to the couple from Lausanne, undergoing treatment in a Delhi hospital.
The external affairs ministry officials visited the couple at Delhi’s AIIMS, where they have been going under treatment, “Such incidents will scare tourists away. As it is there is so much controversy around the Taj. Hopefully, Yogiji would do something about it,” a tourist operator said.
One has been arrested on the Rajasthan-Uttar Pradesh border, Police reported but still, they are searching for four more people, the arrested suspect, a minor is the brother of the main accused.
Chandra Prakash, ADG-Crime, said the Agra police registered an FIR in Fatehpur Sikri. “The investigation is on and teams have been constituted to nab the remaining culprits who are absconding,” He also informed that action might be taken against officials at Fatehpur Sikri police station for not alerting seniors about the assault on the foreign nationals.
The arrest in the case came hours before chief minister Yogi Adityanath reached Agra for a visit to Taj Mahal, days after he and his party colleagues tried to talk down the significance of the Mughal monument, one of most popular tourist destinations of the country and a huge money-spinner. Fatehpur Sikri police station in-charge Pradeep Kumar said the couple was walking along a train track when locals assaulted them.
As per the report, a group of four men tried to take selfies with Droz. Soon, and followed the couple, which soon turned into a full-blown assault. The couple was taken to a local health centre before being shifted to Delhi. “Initially they did not want to file a complaint and the case was made out by the police on its own,” Kumar said.
With the “unusual attack” Police have been left surprised and are not sure if it is the work of lapkas, or local goons who are known to get aggressive with tourists if they don’t part with money. “We are busy gathering facts. It’s very unusual,” a police officer said.
Fatehpur Sikri, which was the capital of the Mughal empire, between 1572 and 1585 during the reign of Emperor Akbar, not as popular as the Taj but gets its fair share of tourists. Other than this more reports has been file previously in 2014, a German woman said she was molested by a hotel manager in Agra. In 2007, two Japanese tourists were gang-raped in the city.