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Tourist fearing rape flees from hotel room in India: Reports
Publication Date : 20-03-2013
Just days after a Swiss tourist was gang-raped in India, a British woman reportedly jumped from the first-floor window of a hotel to escape a possible sex attack in the Taj Mahal city of Agra.
The news came as India's Parliament took steps to toughen laws on violence against women.
The tourist, said to be a dentist from London, panicked after hearing repeated knocking on her door at around 4am yesterday. She then apparently jumped out of the window of her room - a claim police say they are investigating.
"We have detained the manager of the hotel and are also questioning other staff," Agra police chief Pawan Kumar told reporters. "We are investigating whether she had to jump from the first floor."
Some newspaper reports said the woman suffered serious leg, back and head injuries. But TV images showed her walking to a police station.
An official at the British High Commission in New Delhi told The Straits Times that while "there has been an incident in Agra", the woman had not jumped from the window of her room, nor was she seriously injured. "Frankly, the media reporting has been a bit over the top," said the official, who asked that his name not be used.
The incident follows the gang-rape of a Swiss tourist in front of her husband, who was beaten and tied to a tree. They had been on a cycling holiday in central India. Six men have been arrested.
Anger has grown and spawned public protests since the fatal gang-rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi in December, prompting new government moves to protect women.
Yesterday, the decision-making Lower House of Parliament approved a Bill to toughen punishment for rapists and other sexual offenders. Following a seven-hour debate, members gave their assent to the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, which also contains new penalties for stalking, groping, voyeurism and acid attacks.
Anxiety over the safety of women in India - including foreign tourists - has prompted a host of countries to issue travel advice urging caution.