In a huge embarrassment to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister during his Agra visit to Taj Mahal on Thursday, a group of youngsters in Fatehpur Sikri harassed and chased a Swiss couple and left them severely injured with a broken skull, a fractured arm and a hearing impairment. Following the news of the attack, the central government swung into action and start taking steps for damage control.
Being a popular tourist destination among foreigners, Tourism Minister K Alphons wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, expressing his concern over the assault near Agra.
“I’ve written to the CM expressing my concern. I’m sure the culprits will be nabbed soon. He’s (the CM) in Agra today, so the probe into the incident will be looked into in utmost detail,” Alphons told News18.
Reacting to the assault, External Affairs Minister took the situation into her hand and asked for the report on the matter from the State Government, she tweets, “I have asked for a report from the State Government. My officers will reach them in the hospital.”
Meanwhile, Agra Police has managed to nab down one of the accused while the hunt for the other is still underway.
The incident took place on Sunday afternoon when Quentin Jeremy (24) and his friend Marie (24) visited Fatehpur Sikri complex and a group of youngsters first approached the couple and asked for the selfies with Marie. Upon declining on the same, the two accused started to chase the couple and forcibly clicked the pictures.
The couple had been on tour to India since September 30 and was in Agra for two nights before they decided to visit Fatehpur Sikri on Sunday.
Quentin, who is now undergoing treatment at a hospital in New Delhi, said, “I was with my girlfriend in Fatehpur Sikri, when a group of young boys started following us and started taking our pictures, even after my objection. They followed us for almost an hour.”
They soon started harassing the couple and after a while started thrashing Quentin with sticks. He said, “They started hitting me on my head with a stick and kept doing so until I fell down. My girlfriend rushed to help me and raised an alarm. They didn’t even spare her.”
“When my girlfriend raised an alarm, people gathered around us, but by then me and my girlfriend had sustained injuries,” said Quentin, who has suffered a skull fracture. Doctors say he has suffered a hearing impairment after a blow landed on his ear and had developed a clot in his brain. His friend Marie suffered a fracture.
“The more frightening scene was that the bystanders were taking photos and shooting videos while we were lying injured on the ground,” said Quentin.
Alphons, however, feels the on-off incident will not impact India as a popular tourist destination.
“India is a vast country. There are good and bad elements and we’re working towards keeping the latter at bay. I’m sure that a one-off incident will not hinder tourism in the country,” he added.
According to police officials, the Swiss couple was initially taken to a community health centre but was later taken to Agra. They were later shifted to Apollo Hospital in Delhi.
Area Circle Officer Satyan Singh said, “Although the injured Swiss couple did not file a police complaint, a non-cognizable report (NCR) has been filed against four unknown persons and culprits will be arrested soon.”