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Swiss Couple Suffer Brutal Attack in Fatehpur Sikri, Centre Expresses Concern in Letter to Yogi Govt

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon when Quentin Jeremy (24) and his girlfriend Marie (24) were roaming at the Fatehpur Sikri complex and a group of youngsters first approached the couple and asked for selfies with Marie.

Aishwarya Kumar, Qazi Faraz Ahmad

Updated:October 26, 2017, 11:57 PM IST
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New Delhi/Lucknow: In what might prove to be a major embarrassment for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his Agra visit 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.

Police have so far arrested five people for the assault. Police identified three minor boys from the photographs that the miscreants had forcibly clicked with the couple.

In the meanwhile, Tourism Minister K Alphons has written to Yogi Adityanath expressing concern over the assault near Agra, which is perhaps the most popular tourism destination in India among foreigners.

“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.

Alphons's letter to the Uttar Pradesh government, accessed by Network18, says:

Respected Shri. Yogi Adityanath ji, I am deeply concerned that two Switzerland citizens were attacked and injured at Fatehpur Sikri yesterday. You would kindly appreciate that such incidents negatively impact our image and are detrimental to our efforts in promoting India as a tourism destination. A fast and speedy response in identifying and ensuring speedy action including conviction of the guilty would be reassuring as also a good message of our efforts to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
Yours sincerely,
KJ Alphons.
MOS Tourism
India


External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too reacted on Thursday and asked for a report from the UP government. Swaraj tweeted: “I have asked for a report from the State Government. My officers will reach them in the hospital.”



The incident took place on Sunday afternoon when Quentin Jeremy (24) and his girlfriend Marie (24) were roaming at the Fatehpur Sikri complex and a group of youngsters first approached the couple and asked for selfies with Marie. They then started following the couple and forcibly clicked pictures.

The couple had been touring in 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 also developed a clot in his brain suffered a hearing impairment after a blow landed on his ear. His girlfriend Marie has a broken arm.

What is even more shocking is that the couple has alleged that there were bystanders who were taking pictures and shooting videos while they were lying injured on the ground.

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.

CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the act should be outrightly condemned and the lawlessness was spreading fast in UP after the arrival of this government at the helm of affairs.

"Tourists we say atithi deva bhava, but if this is what is going to happen, I think, India is cutting a very very sorry figure in the world ... and the government of the BJP has to immediately take some measures to stop this," he said.

Yechury added that the state government was squarely responsible for the horrible attack.

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.

Achnera 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.”

Sunday's attack has now provided fodder to former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and the opposition, who are calling out the government's failure to maintain law and order in the state.

According to ANI, Akhilesh has said, "A couple visiting Fatehpur Sikri were beaten when they tried to click a selfie. What happened to anti-romeo squads? There has been unprecedented rise in cases of crime and loot in the state."

| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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