Swiss tourists suffer brutal attack near Taj Mahal

2017-10-27 07:07
An Indian worker cleans a water pond inside the grounds of the Taj Mahal. (Chandan Khanna, AFP)

An Indian worker cleans a water pond inside the grounds of the Taj Mahal. (Chandan Khanna, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi – A Swiss tourist has been left with a fractured skull after he and his girlfriend were attacked near the Taj Mahal during a holiday in India, police and media reports said on Thursday.

A group of men approached the couple near a local railway station and demanded selfies with the woman before attacking them with stones on Sunday, the Times of India daily said.

It said the man suffered a fractured skull while his girlfriend, a 24-year-old Swiss national, had a broken arm and multiple bruises.

ALSO READ: Irish tourist raped, strangled in India

Bystanders took videos of the couple on their mobile phones as they lay on the ground after the attack, the paper reported.

Senior officer Amit Pathak told AFP by phone from Agra in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh that police had identified some of the attackers.

"Some of them could be minors, so we are investigating and if they are indeed minors they will be produced in juvenile court as per the law," said Pathak, senior police superintendent for Agra.

Sexual violence

Another police officer, Pradeep Kumar, later said one suspect had been taken in for questioning.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath later said two had been arrested and vowed those responsible would be dealt with "sternly".

"All others involved will also face strict action. Our government will not tolerate anything like this," he told reporters after visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra on Thursday.

ALSO READ: India arrests eight alleged sex tourists for underage rape

The motive for the attack was not clear, but levels of sexual violence are relatively high in India, and many Western countries warn visitors of the risk of attacks.

The Swiss embassy website warns tourists of high levels of crime in India, particularly in popular tourist spots such as Agra, where the country's most famous monument is located.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had sought a report from the state government of Uttar Pradesh over the latest attack and would send representatives to visit the Swiss couple in hospital.

Tourism blow

Some social media users criticised Adityanath, whose election campaign in March included a promise to clean up his notoriously lawless state, for failing to protect the tourists.

"Such a shameful story on the breakdown of law & order in India's largest state. Is @myogiadityanath listening?" tweeted Milind Deora, a leader of the opposition Congress party.

India's tourism minister K.J Alphons expressed his deep concern at the attack and urged Adityanath to take "speedy action" to apprehend the perpetrators.

"Such incidents negatively impact our image and are detrimental to our efforts in promoting India as a tourism destination," Alphons said in a statement.

Others said the incident was a blow to India's hopes of drawing more tourists to the country, which had just 8.8 million foreign visitors last year according to official data.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

Read more on:    india  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.