Rajasthan hotel owner held for assaulting foreigner

A hotel owner in Rajasthan`s Jodhpur district has been arrested for allegedly molesting and assaulting a tourist from Netherlands who had to spend the night in the bathroom to fend off his advances, police said Monday.

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2010, 11:31 AM IST

Jodhpur: A hotel owner in Rajasthan`s Jodhpur district has been arrested for allegedly molesting and assaulting a tourist from Netherlands who had to spend the night in the bathroom to fend off his advances, police said Monday.

Identified as Narendra Singh, the owner of the hotel in Bap sub-district, some 170 km from this popular Rajasthan tourist town, was held Sunday night, a police official said.

The alleged incident occurred on October 8 night when Narendra Singh, in a drunken state, started knocking on the foreign tourist`s door. Sensing trouble, the 24-year-old did not open the door, the official said.

An irritated Singh then tried to break it open and threatened her with dire consequences before going away.

The foreigner tried to catch someone`s attention by shouting for help but no one came forward, she said in her complaint lodged Sunday. Eventually, she locked herself in the bathroom for the night.

In the morning, Singh beat her up when she tried to complain about the incident to the hotel manager, police said.

Police sources said that some marks, which could be because of the assault, were visible on her throat and thighs.

"We are waiting for her medical report," the police official said, adding that the hotel owner was arrested Sunday night on charges relating to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.

The hotel is located on the Jodhpur-Bikaner highway.

In the last five years, the desert state, a favourite tourist destination for both domestic as well as foreign tourists, has been rocked by incidents of rape and molestation of foreign tourists.

In September this year, a tourist from Britain was allegedly molested by a schoolteacher in Bundi near Kota.

In 2005, a 47-year-old German tourist was raped by an auto-rickshaw driver and his accomplice in Jodhpur. The two were sentenced to life imprisonment by a fast-track court within a month.

In March 2006, a 26-year-old German student was raped in Alwar by the son of a senior police officer of Orissa cadre. The accused, BH Mohanty, was found guilty and sentenced to seven years imprisonment by a fast-track court.

However, he jumped parole in December 2006 and has been absconding since then.

The arrival of foreign tourists to Rajasthan has seen a quantum jump from 623,000 tourists in 2002 to around 1.10 million in 2009. Similarly, the arrival of domestic tourists has also leapfrogged from 7.3 million in 2000 to around 25 million tourists in 2009.

IANS