UK woman injured fleeing India sex attack

2013-03-19 14:01
Indian students take part in a protest rally in New Delhi. (File, AFP)

Indian students take part in a protest rally in New Delhi. (File, AFP)

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New Delhi - A female British tourist suffered leg injuries after she jumped out of a hotel window on Tuesday over fears of a sex attack in the Indian city of Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, police said.

The victim, who was not named but was in her early 30s, was admitted to hospital by police after she leapt from the first floor when two men tried to enter her room in the Hotel Agra Mahal at around 04:00.

The incident came just days after a Swiss cyclist was gang-raped by a group of villagers on Friday night while on a cycling trip with her husband that was meant to include a stopover in Agra.

That attack refocused attention on the country's poor record on safety for women, after thousands took to the streets in nationwide protests following the fatal gang-rape of an Indian student on a bus in New Delhi in December.

The hotel guest "got frightened so she ran to the other end of the room and jumped out of the window", Pawan Kumar, superintendent of police in Agra, said.

Another officer who took the victim to hospital said she had earlier rejected the hotel manager's persistent overtures offering a massage.

Court appearance


He then returned with a second man and attempted to open the door to her room with a key, said the officer, Swaranjeet, who uses only one name.

Swaranjeet, the deputy superintendent of police in Agra, said the manager had been arrested on charges of harassment and would be produced in court shortly.

The victim, a dentist from London, had suffered ligament damage in one leg but her injuries were not serious, Swaranjeet said.

"She has left hospital and we have moved her to another hotel while she decides her future travel plans. She is safe but is very scared after the incident," she said.

British officials in India have been in touch with the victim, Swaranjeet added.

"Consular staff are actively providing her with assistance. We understand she is under local police protection," a spokesperson at the British High Commission in New Delhi said.

Morning call

The woman arrived in India nearly three weeks ago and travelled across the country before arriving in Agra on Sunday, police said.

A member of staff at the hotel, who would not give his full name, said the manager had merely tried to wake the victim in time for an early morning train.

"We don't know what she thought but she jumped out of the window of her room," said the staff member.

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