British woman jumps off Agra hotel to escape molestation
Agra: A British national was injured on Tuesday after she jumped from the window of a first-floor hotel room here fearing a molestation attempt.
The tourist, a dentist from London, was staying at a hotel in Idgah area, about four kilometres from the Taj Mahal. According to police, the 25-year-old woman had asked for a wake-up call at 4 am.
The incident came just days after the gang-rape of a Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh.
The hotel owner Sachin Chauhan knocked at her door at 3.45 am and offered a "free hand massage" saying it was part of hotel's special services for foreign guests, 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.
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.
On Friday, a 39-year-old Swiss tourist was gang-raped in a forest in Madhya Pradesh while her husband was beaten up. Six men have been arrested. The Swiss couple were on a cycling trip in India and their next destination was Agra.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has reviewed its travel advisory for women travellers to India.
"We are aware of an incident involving a British national in Agra, India, and are urgently looking into it. We are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the woman," an FCO spokesperson said in London.
It said, "Women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are travelling in a group."
Taking serious note of the incident, Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi ordered suspension of the three-star rating of Hotel Agra Mahal, where the incident took place.
The Tourism Ministry also issued a showcause notice to the hotel asking it why its licence should not be cancelled.
(With PTI inputs)