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Swiss couple’s attackers jailed

Senior Agra police officials told The Hindu that “loot was the motive for the attack on the Swiss couple”. Quentin Jeremy Clerc and his partner Marie Droz, both in their twenties, were first stalked and harassed, and later brutally assaulted with sticks and stones, by a group of five persons in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra on October 22.

“The culprits have told us that they wanted to rob valuable stuff like camera from the Swiss couple. Section 326 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code), which is related to voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means, has been added to the FIR (First Information Report),” said a senior official supervising the probe.

The accused were earlier booked under Section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and Section 325 (punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt).

One absconding

Two of the five accused arrested on Thursday were presented in the court on Friday and sent to jail. The remaining three under-age boys have been sent to a rehabilitation centre in Agra.

 

A sixth accused, who is also possibly a minor, is still absconding, said the police.

In its first official statement, the Uttar Pradesh police had suggested that “public display of affection” (PDA) had provoked local youths to attack the couple with stones on Sunday afternoon in Fatehpur Sikri.

The FIR registered by the Fatehpur Sikri police suo motu after the tourists refused to file one, claims that the couple was indulging in “alingan sparsh” (PDA) in the bushes near the railway track. However, police statements made thereafter omitted this aspect of the incident and only say the couple became engaged in “a dispute” with some local youths.

Embassy concerned

A statement by the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi said that it was “deeply concerned about the health” of the Swiss couple. “The Embassy will continue to provide all possible support to them and their families and trusts that the Indian law enforcement agencies and judicial system will deliver justice,” the statement said.

The condition of the Swiss couple who had suffered severe injuries in the attack is said to be stable. Mr. Clerc suffered a fractured skull, while Ms. Droz had a broken arm and many bruises.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 3:19:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/swiss-couples-attackers-jailed/article19934381.ece

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