New Delhi: A Swiss couple was attacked by a group of men with sticks and stones in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur Sikri near Agra on the afternoon of October 22, leaving them injured and bruised.
Late on Wednesday (October 25) the state police arrested one suspect in connection with the brutal attack, Hindustan Times reported. The arrest came hours before the state chief minister Adityanath arrived in Agra for a visit to the Taj Mahal.
According to an NDTV report, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the attack, which left the man with a fractured skull and hearing impairment and the woman with a broken arm.
According to the police, after a visit to the Taj, Quentin Jeremy Clerc and Marie Droz, both 24 years of age, were walking around a railway track in Fatehpur Sikri when a group of young men began harassing them and insisted on taking pictures with Droz. The group then followed them and passed comments. Clerc told the Times of India that the group followed them for nearly an hour and “kept taking our pictures despite our objections.”
The men then blocked the couple’s way and forcibly began taking pictures, according to NDTV. The attackers repeatedly hit Clerc till he fell to the ground and attacked Droz with stones.
“I was hit on the back, shoulder and hand. I still cannot understand why they attacked us. They didn’t take any of our valuables,” Clerc told the Times of India.
The men fled on seeing some people approach the scene. The couple said as they lay on the ground, bystanders began taking videos of them. They were initially taken to a local hospital and then moved to a hospital in Delhi.
According to The Hindu, while the couple did not wish to file a complaint, the police filed one on its own cognisance, a spokesperson for the Agra SSP said.
A team from the ministry is expected to get in touch with the couple who arrived in India from Lausanne on September 30. They are now undergoing treatment in a Delhi hospital.
The incident has left the tourism industry up in arms. “Such incidents will scare tourists away. As it is there is so much controversy around the Taj,” a tourist operator told Hindustan Times.