To some, India is starting to look like a downright dangerous place to be when you are a tourist.
After the multiple rape attacks on female tourists in the last few years that have played down the destination’s lure for European backpackers, there is today a new scandal launching, with a group of youngsters following and then attacking an innocent young Swiss couple. Even the local Indian police was stunned.
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Mr Quentin Jeremy Clerc, 24 years old, had come to India with his girlfriend Miss Marie Droz, also 24. he explained that they were strolling near the railway station after a day in Agra (where the Taj Mahal is) when a group of youngsters started following them for no reason.
"They initially passed comments, which we didn't understand, and then forced us to stop so they could take selfies with Marie." But for no apparent reason the harassment turned into an attack so brutal that it left Mr Clerc with a fractured skull and a clot in his brain.
Miss Droz was left with a broken arm and multiple bruises.
Ms Clerc recounted the incident: “The boys wouldn't stop walking along despite our protests. All the while they kept taking pictures and trying to get close to Marie. From whatever little we could understand, they were asking our names and the place where we had put up in Agra. They were harassing us. They asked us to accompany them to some place, which we refused. A little after stones and sticks began to rain on me. When Marie intervened, she, too, wasn't spared."
According to police reports, the locals said that the couple had been spotted kissing in public, something which is frowned upon in India and even considered sinful in some local tribal cultures.
In the end, European tourists will not know where to travel anymore. With the northern African destinations like Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt all falling out of grace because of the fear of terrorist attacks, Asia seemed safe but stories like these do not really help.
The Spanish, Italian, Greek and French tourism boards will be rubbing their hands together, as they can charge even higher prices next year. Europeans will simply stay on the continent with stories like these coming out ever more often.