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Attack on Swiss couple in Agra evokes widespread outrage 

New Delhi: People cutting across party lines have condemned the attack on a Swiss couple near Agra in Uttar Pradesh state.

A group of men chased and attacked the couple with sticks and stones in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra on October 22, a day after they visited the Taj Mahal. However, the news about the attack came to light only after five days.

The couple was left wounded on the road. Witnesses took videos of the couple on their mobile phones as they lay on the ground. Five people have been arrested, the police said.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Tourism Minister KJ Alphons have written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the brutal assault that left Quentin Jeremy Clerc with a fractured skull and partial hearing loss, and his girlfriend Marie Droxz with a broken arm. The couple is currently in Delhi’s Apollo hospital. Clerk has a clot in the brain and a nerve in his ear has been affected.

Dr Rajendra Prasad, neurosurgeon at the Apollo Hospital, said Clerc has been shifted to the ward from the ICU. The doctor said Droz has a fracture in her arm but has been discharged after treatment.

“We have moved him (Clerc) out of the ICU into a room. He is having a hearing problem otherwise he is conscious and talking,” said Prasad, adding it is difficult to say at this moment whether he has suffered permanent hearing damage.

“He’s improving but we will have to see in the long term,” he said.

Prasad said the duo is in a state of shock and that Droz is at present with her male friend.

The incident evoked widespread condemnation.

“It is a matter of shame for us,” said federal Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.

The attack dimmed the spectacle of Yogi Adityanath’s first visit as chief minister to the Taj Mahal on October 26, where he also clicked photos with foreign tourists.

“Strongest action will be taken in incidents of violence against tourists,” Yogi Adityanath told reporters as he wrapped up his visit.

Clerc and Marie Droxz, both 24, had arrived in Agra on September 30 from Lausanne in Switzerland.

After visiting the Taj, they were in the historic Fatehpur Sikri town when the attack occurred.

Four young men followed them for an hour, shouted comments and tried to engage them in conversation. Eventually they grew bolder, blocked their way and forcibly took selfies with Droxz.

Clerc alleges that he was hit repeatedly with a stick until he fell to the ground. Droxz was also attacked.

“Some of (the attackers) could be minors, so we are investigating and if they are indeed minors they will be produced in juvenile court,” senior police officer Amit Pathak told reporters.

Foreign ministry officials including Indian Ambassador designate to Switzerland C B George visited the couple in hospital and said they were recovering and happy with their treatment. “We are monitoring his progress,” Swaraj, who had earlier sought a report from Uttar Pradesh.

Agra, which draws millions of visitors from across the world, has been concerned about a hit in its traffic following the politics over Taj Mahal and also a spike in crime.

Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, referring to the anti-Romeo squads or police teams set up by the Yogi Adityanath government to check harassment, questioned: “What happened to anti-Romeo squads? A couple visiting Fatehpur Sikri were beaten when they tried to click a selfie.”

Congress leader Milind Deora tweeted: “Such a shameful story on the breakdown of law & order in India’s largest state. Is @myogiadityanath listening?”

The Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi confirms that two Swiss citizens were attacked in India,” the Embassy said in a statement, adding, “In the framework of consular protection services, the Embassy is providing support to them. For reasons of privacy and data protection, the Embassy cannot communicate any further information in this regard.”

Alphons’s letter to the Uttar Pradesh government read, ‘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.”

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6 Responses to Attack on Swiss couple in Agra evokes widespread outrage

  1. Raj

    Sad incident.. How some one can blame Modi for this.. Its politics then.. All anti Modi post here are from Xtians brothers.. We can understand there concern as they lost many privileges in NGO running and foreign donations used for missionary activities.. .. So upset against Modi Govt.. The culprits to be booked and punished at any cost…

  2. Purushottam Nayak

    India is known for its good hospitality. Visitors love India for its multicultural dimensions and world famous heritage. By these kind of shameful and heinous acts the image of the country is tarnished internationally. Let the culprits brought to justice.

  3. K. C. Thomas

    Here the report says that minors also seem to be involved. This shows that hooliganism is directed by some leaders. What wrong could the 24 year old foreign couple have committed to provoke these minors ! I am sure such incidents will create fear in tourists and there will be considerable impact on tourism industry.
    Such incidents are never fully and sincerely investigated. As a result the leaders of such groups are never caught. The police is inactive and inefficient. Ultimately we have to accuse the rulers and their governance.

  4. chhotebhai

    We Indians just do not know how to behave with foreigners, especially women. Yes, the govt is responsible for law and order, but beyond that our society is sick.

    I also fail to understand why foreigners are asked to pay about 10 times more than us Indians when they visit tourist places. For example if the entry ticket to the Taj is Rs 50/- a foreign tourist would have to cough up Rs 500/-. This is gross injustice as also disrespect to our guests. When we go abroad we are not asked to pay extra for any service just because we are visitors.

  5. Ladislaus Louis D'Souza

    Shame on you Yogi Adityanath! Shame on you Mr Prime Minister Narendra Modi! Shame on you sons and daughters of cows and bulls. Useless nerds, all you know to do is occupy seats of power at public expense and encourage hooliganism.

  6. A. S. Mathew

    Since the deity rule of Modi/Amith Shaw was started, how many lynching, beating and murder towards the Muslims in India in the name of beef?

    How many attacks against the Christians? 300% increase since the RSS/BJP began to rule in 2014.

    Goliath Yogi of UP started telling total nonsense, supported by the career warmonger Dr. Subramanian Swami to create attacks against the Muslims in a higher level. The Taj Mahal is known around the world as one of the 7 wonders of the world; and for the UNESCO, listed as an important monument.

    But Yogi-Surbramaian jokers wanted to destroy Taj Mahal and other historical Islamic monuments of India. The trouble makers are near the Taj Mahal already, and the Police had to force them to move from that location.

    What a sad publicity about India in the foreign lands? The BJP/RSS, the party of destruction will finally make the image of India as Somalia.

    The new Minister of Tourism, to please the deity Modi said that the tourists should eat beef in their homeland before coming to India. Now, relay this message to the foreign Missions in New Delhi, that the tourists must be well prepared for street attacks by the Government appointed goons. What a national tragedy upon India created by the voting of 31% gullible electorate thinking that Modi’s rhetoric was the word of God?

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