Swiss Couple Attack: UP Cop Issues Guidelines for Tourist Safety
Quentin Jeremy Cleric, and Marie Droz, 24-year-olds from Lausanne, were brutally thrashed with sticks and stones.
Taking action against the attack on a Swiss Couple in Fatehpur Sikhri near Agra on 22 October, the Uttar Pradesh DGP Sulkhan Singh on Wednesday issued a list of guidelines, including deployment of policemen in plain clothes, more patrolling and installation of CCTV cameras, to prevent such incidents.
More than 50 'lapkas' or touts who target foreign visitors at Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort and Taj Mahal had been rounded up. They have been booked for harassment and disturbing public peace and sent to jail.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had earlier arrested five minor boys for attacking the Swiss couple . Quentin Jeremy Cleric, and Marie Droz, both 24-year-olds from Lausanne, were brutally thrashed with sticks and stones, allegedly by a group of local boys who wanted to get ‘close’ to Droz. The attack left Cleric with a fractured skull, a brain-clot, and hearing impairment; Droz has a broken arm and multiple bruises.
Policemen in ‘Plain Clothes’ To Be Stationed in Tourist Spots
The guidelines require police to take prompt action in cases of eve teasing or sexual assaults on women tourists, lodging of FIRs and action as per the law against the accused, the police official said.
The DGP also directed installation of CCTV cameras around places of religious importance, historical sites and other spots of tourist interest besides deploying policemen both in plain clothes and uniform.
Directions have been issued to identify places frequented by tourists and ensure regular patrolling, the offical said, adding that policemen in plain clothes would be deployed to keep an eye on rowdy elements.
The DGP directed deployment of policemen who can speak english in uniform with a badge proclaiming "tourist police', the spokesman said.
Yogi Vows Security For Tourists
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath promised "strict action" after the couple sustained severe injuries when they were attacked.
Speaking at a press conference on 26 October, Yogi said: “Indian and foreign tourists are all equal to us as 'atithis'. We believe in atithi devo bhava. So we have to take strict action in the Fatehpur Sikri case”. The UP government will formulate a new police strategy to provide security to tourists, he was quoted as saying.
According to reports, the couple, who reached India on 30 September, were reportedly strolling along the Fatehpur Sikri railway station when a group of boys began to follow them, all the while passing lewd comments in Hindi, most of which the couple didn’t understand. Cleric told the Times of India:
The boys wouldn’t stop walking along despite our protests. All the while they kept taking pictures and trying to get close to Marie. From whatever little we could understand, they were asking our names and the place where we had put up in Agra.Quentin Jeremy Cleric, Victim, to The Times of India
“They were harassing us. They asked us to accompany them to some place, which we refused. A little after stones and sticks began to rain on me. When Marie intervened, she, too, wasn’t spared,” Cleric told the daily.
5 Arrests Made, FIR Lodged
On 27 October, the Uttar Pradesh police tracked down and arrested five of the minor suspects in connection with the assault from the Rajasthan border.
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had requested the UP government to provide a report on the attack on the Swiss couple.
The couple had been transferred and admitted into Apollo Hospital, Delhi, where officials from the Ministry of External Affairs arrived to meet with the couple. According to what they told ANI, the couple are still recovering.
Union Tourism Minister, KJ Alphons, has also written to the UP Chief Minister, expressing concern over the attacks on the Swiss couple in Fatehpur Sikri.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)
(This story has been updated.)
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