‘Molestation’ bid: British woman jumps off Agra hotel

The Stateman

AGRA, 19 MARCH: Close on the heels of the gangrape of a Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh, a 25-year-old British woman tourist today jumped out of a first-floor hotel room here over fears of an alleged molestation attempt and sustained leg injuries. The tourist, who had checked into the hotel in the Idgah area, about four km from Taj Mahal, two days back, told police that she had asked for a wake-up call at 4 a.m. The hotel owner, Mr Sachin Chauhan, knocked on her door at 3.45 a.m. and offered a “free hand massage” saying it was part of the hotel’s special services for foreign guests, Mr Subhash Chandra Dubey, SSP, Agra, told reporters here.

She refused and closed the door. But soon, the owner came with the security guard and tried to open the door. The tourist said she locked the room from inside and leapt from the first-floor window to the level below, injuring her leg. She was treated for ligament injury at the district hospital and later moved to another hotel, police said. Police said the victim was a dentist from London who had arrived in India three weeks back and travelled to different parts before reaching Agra. Mr Chauhan, a Delhi native, was arrested on molestation, harassment and other charges, police said.

The hotel owner claimed that he was being falsely implicated as he had gone to only wake her up because she had not responded when the hotel staff had tried ringing her on the intercom.

The British High Commission in Delhi said its officials had spoken to the woman and to the local police and that consular assistance was being provided to her.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has reviewed its travel advisory for women travellers to India. It said, “Women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India,  even if they are travelling in a group”.

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