Six held in Pushkar tourist case

Jaipur, April 5: Six people were arrested today in the case of manhandling of four foreign tourists near Pushkar. Four tourists including two women from different countries US, UK, Germany and Spain, were attacked and manhandled by miscreants when they went to a temple in the Ajaypal region near to Pushkar yesterday. They had hired motorbikes to explore the Pushkar city and nearby areas of Aravalli hills.

Avnish Kumar, additional SP, Ajmer said the names of the miscreants are Shah Rukh, Narendra, Vikas, Babu and Karan, whose ages vary between 21 and 38 years. The sixth person is a juvenile, who joined them. These local goons have a criminal record and had wandered to region as Ajmer observed a bandy yesterday, The mobile phones and camera were recovered from them. Initially the tourists were reluctant to lodge a complaint but the police convinced them and case was filed under Sections 147,148,149, 341,324,307 and 395 of IPC.

According to police, the tourists had hired motorbikes to explore the area around Pushkar and reached a temple. There at least four five local goons, who were drinking at that time, tried to get pally with them and molest the women. When one of the tourists, Michael Blake from US, tried to confront them, they were pelted with stones and chased. One of the women tourist’s clothes were also torn off. Two of their mobiles and cameras were also snatched.

The tourists, in the age group of 35-45 years, somehow managed to escape and asked for help from the motorbike owners, who called the nearby villagers. Michael and British tourist Simon Sam and the women were taken to the hospital. Michael had received head injuries but has been discharged from the hospital. Michael has been staying in Pushkar for the past six months, whereas the others arrived two days back.

Rajasthan has been in the news for assaults and rapes on foreign tourists in the past few years.
Following a rise in the number of such cases in Rajasthan and elsewhere in India, the UK, US, Australia, Switzerland and some other nations had issued travel advisories asking their citizens to take precautions, especially women travelling alone.

In Jaipur, a Japanese tourist was raped by a tour guide in January last year. A fast track court had awarded a 20 years sentence o the main accused Ajit Singh Choudhary.
In Pushkar, a Japanese lady was raped in 2006 by a guesthouse owner, where she had put up. He was sentenced to seven years. The same year, the state was rocked by the Bitti Mohanty case. Mohanty, the son of a top Odisha police officer, raped a German research scholar in Alwar. He was sentenced to seven years within a month by a fast-track court. Bitti later jumped parole and was arrested several years later in 2013 from Kerala where he was working in disguise as a technician at a bank.
In 2005, a 47-year-old German was kidnapped and raped by two auto-rickshaw drivers in Jodhpur. The accused were tried in a fast-track court within a month and given a life term.

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