Attempt to molest British tourist: Agra Hotel 3 Star rating suspended

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 16:56 hrs

Agra: Taking a serious note of the attempt to molest a foreign tourist in Agra, Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi has ordered the suspension of the 3Star rating of Hotel Agra Mahal.

The Ministry of Tourism has also issued a show cause notice to the hotel, and asked it to explain as to why its license should not be cancelled.

A British woman, who is touring India, jumped off from the balcony of her hotel to save herself from a rape attempt by the hotel owner in Uttar Pradesh's Agra city earlier in the day.

The hotel owner, who allegedly tried to molest her, has been arrested.

As per police, the incident took place at around 4.00 a.m. when the hotel owner, Sachin Chauhan, kept pursuing the British national for an oil massage scheme.

She had to jump out of her hotel room's balcony out of fear when Chauhan and his security guard kept knocking the door.

"The accused allegedly knocked her room at 3.45 a.m. last morning and told her about their scheme of free oil massage. The woman stated that she refused it and he repeatedly insisted on her using it. The woman refused and closed the door. She then stated that he kept on knocking the door for a long time afterwards and then later he also called his security guard and both of them began to knock the door," said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Subhash Chandra Dubey.

"The woman jumped from the balcony to the storey below and from there escaped and then came over and lodged a complaint at the police station," he added.

The SSP further said Chauhan has been booked under section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.

"Police has registered a case of sexual assault under section 354 of the IPC against the accused and the hotel owner, Sachin Chauhan. Along with the IPC section, other relevant sections will also be added to the charges. For now, the accused, hotel owner, has been arrested," he said.

The British High Commission authorities also condemned the incident and hoped that the police and local authorities would see to it that justice would be delivered here.

"If it is the case then obviously it is very sad. One of our responsibilities from the Foreign Office is clearly to look after and protect the British people when they are travelling overseas. So if that has happened then it is very sad," said Peter Beckingham, Deputy High Commissioner of the British High Commission in India.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) also condemned the incident, saying that such types of incidents can severely affect tourism in the country.

"On the one hand, we say that if foreign tourists come then our investments will rise as many people have been associated with this business. I feel this is a very shameful incident. But I also commend the woman's courage that she took this brave step to save herself," said NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma.

The British woman, who is currently under the protection of the Uttar Pradesh Police, is undergoing treatment. She has head injuries and both her legs are fractured.

Earlier on March 15, a Swiss tourist was gang-raped while she was camping with her husband in Madhya Pradesh's Datia District. 

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